Car dealers in Lagos on Monday staged a peaceful protest over the continued sealing of their business premises by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The dealers under the aegis of Automobile Dealers’ Friends Association (ADFA) stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly where a petition written to President Muhammadu Buhari was presented to the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa.
They asked the President to prevail on the customs to reopen their shops two months after sealing them, saying the development had brought hunger and starvation to them and their families.
Customs and the car dealers especially in Lagos have been having a running battle over the closure of hundreds of car marts in the state.
The NCS had said that the car dealers should reconcile their papers and documents by paying the additional import duty on their vehicles.
But the car dealers have insisted that their cars were legitimately cleared by Customs at the ports.
The protesters carried placards with inscriptions such as “Enough is Enough, Release our Shops”; “Customs, we are legitimate businessmen and women”; “We are not smugglers”; “EFCC, Investigate the Customs”; “Customs, put your house in order”; among others.
They called on President Buhari, the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Speaker of the House, Mudashir Obasa to prevail on Customs to unseal their premises immediately.
President of the Association, Morgan Ogbede decried what he called the “draconian” manner by which their shops were sealed.
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