Old video of Nigerian border re-opening resurfaces online

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A video has been circulating on social media with a claim that the Nigerian president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has directed that all the nation’s borders be reopened.

The claim has been circulating within WhatsApp closed groups for days.

In the video, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) personnel were seen opening a gated entrance with a voice in the footage saying: “One! two!! three!!!..  at last, at last, the border is open.”

Also in the video, one could see a building with the inscription: “Idiroko”.

The 21-second footage showing some Customs operatives performing symbolic reopening of Idiroko border amid jubilation, had went viral days ago.

It will be recalled that in August 2019, the immediate-past Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, had ordered that all the country’s land borders be closed during his administration over illegal importation of drugs, arms and agricultural products into Nigeria from neighbouring West African countries.

 

CLAIM

Tinubu has directed that all Nigerian borders be re-opened.

 

THE FINDINGS

Checks by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is MISLEADING.

Findings revealed that the footage has been online since 2022 when former President Buhari directed that the Idiroko border and three other land borders be re-opened.

Screenshot of the footage retrieved from a WhatsApp group.

Punch had reported that the re-opening of the borders was after a circular was released by the Nigeria Customs Service.

The circular, signed by Deputy Comptroller-General E. I. Edorhe on behalf of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, listed the borders as Idiroko border post in Ogun State, Jibiya border post in Katsina State, Kamba border post in Kebbi State and Ikom border post in Cross River State.

Earlier in 2020, Buhari had ordered the reopening of borders in Seme in Lagos, Illela in Sokoto, Maigatari in Jigawa, and Mfum in Cross River, citing recommendations from a presidential committee on review and advice on the reopening of borders.

In addition, the Customs Controller, Ogun 1 Area Command, Bamidele Makinde, said the border had been reopened since last year, contrary to the viral footage which showed some residents of Idiroko jubilating over the border reopening.

Makinde, however, said other land borders in the state like Imeko, Ohumbe, Ijofin and Ijoun remain shut.

“In Ogun State, as we speak today we have more than six approved borders, Imeko, Ijofin, Ijoun, Ohunbe, we have six of them. It is only Idiroko that is opened now, the others are still under lock.

“So, Idiroko is open 24/7, but the others, we don’t have powers to open them. If you do business in those borders, we will seize your goods,” he told Daily Trust on Tuesday.

The Cable also published an explainer on what the reopening of the borders could mean for the Nigerian economy which include boosting intra-African trade, lessen burden for SMEs, and competition with domestic production, amongst others.

 

THE VERDICT

The claim that Tinubu has directed that all Nigerian borders be reopened is MISLEADING; as the video currently in circulation is over one year old.

Fact-checker at The FactheckHub | [email protected] | + posts

Seasoned fact-checker and researcher Fatimah Quadri has written numerous fact-checks, explainers, and media literacy pieces for The FactCheckHub in an effort to combat information disorder. She can be reached at sunmibola_q on X or [email protected].

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