1 Base Ammunition Depot of the Nigerian Army, Gusau, said it had repatriated 226 foreign donkeys to Niger Republic.
Maj. Hamman Saleh, the Commandant of the depot, told Journalists while loading the donkeys at the Tsafe military check point, Zamfara, that the donkeys were intercepted in the bush on Monday along with their 49 owners.
Saleh said due to the security challenges in the country, the donkeys and their owners were apprehended and searched to detect possible concealed weapons.
He, however, said that only axes and cutlasses were found in their possession, adding that the intruders, however, gained entry into the country illegally.
Saleh said the suspects had been handed over to the state’s command of immigration service.
The Comptroller of Immigration Service in the state, Alhaji Shattima Mailafiya confirmed the development.
Mailafiya said that the suspects, mostly Nigeriens, would be repatriated to their country.
He said already, the state government had provided three trucks for the exercise through the Nigeria/Niger border at Illela in Sokoto State.
Mailafiya said that about 68 other illegal aliens had been repatriated in the last four months through the same border.
He, however, appealed to the state government to continue to support the command, especially with vehicles to enable it combat the activities of foreign nationals sneaking into the country without legal permits.
Meanwhile, some of the donkey owners said that they were in Nigeria to seek for menial jobs during the dry season.
They said the donkeys were used for hawking fire wood while some were sold to ready-made buyers when the fire wood business was not moving as expected. [NAN]