Former Ogun State Governor and Senator representing Ogun Central, Ibikunle Amosun and the Senator representing Lagos West yesterday expressed divergent views on the current closure of Nigeria’s borders with neighbouring countries.
Amosun and Adeola have been at loggerheads with each other after the former governor allegedly aborted the Lagos Senator’s ambitions to become a Senator in Ogun West in 2015 and the governor of Ogun State in 2019.
Adeola, who had held various political positions in Lagos State made a surprise sojourn to Ogun State in 2015, claiming he was an indigene of the state from Ogun West.
But Amosun rebuffed Adeola, despite being members of the same All Progressives Congress (APC), saying no foreigner will be governor of Ogun under his watch.
Adeola was forced to drop his political ambitions in Ogun for his Lagos West senatorial race.
The two Senators, speaking on Wednesday in Abuja, were on different pages over border closure by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Senator Adeola in his words, justified the border closure, asserting that “it has reduced petroleum demand by 11 million litres.”
According to him, the policy, which came into effect last month has heightened the demand of locally produced rice and has made farmers to go back to farms.
“Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, as I speak, about 11 million litres which would have been smuggled was being saved daily; more so, local rice is in high demand and farmers have gone back to farms.”
But his perceived rival, Former Gov., Amosun posited that borders should not be closed permanently.
According to Amosun, attempt to sanitize Nigeria’s borders of criminal elements should not shut genuine businessmen against doing their businesses.
“I have the opportunity to govern Ogun State for eight years and I know what it means to close borders.
“Clearly, there is the need to sanitize our borders for some times and to think about a lasting solution, there are actually genuine businesses and border should not be closed permanently against them.
“That smuggling of rice and other products has reduced does not mean majority of Nigerians have not been affected.
“Some students schooling in Ghana and Benin Republic are complaining of travelling by road. Also since the closure, I know what our people have been doing.”
He called on security agencies to rally round the government in finding a lasting solution to the issues surrounding the closure of borders.
Meanwhile, Senator Tolu Odebiyi representing Ogun West Senatorial District said, “no country wakes up all of a sudden and closes her borders because some indigenous entrepreneurs who want to expose their products to the outside world would find it difficult.
“To me, government should look at this policy again. There are genuine manufacturers who have been badly affected. They want to expose their products to the outside world, but couldn’t as a result of border closure.”