The Ogun Area One Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has appealed to traditional rulers in the state to educate their subjects on the dangers of attacking Customs operatives who are fighting smuggling in the state.
The command’s Area Controller, Comptroller Dera Nnadi, made the appeal when he visited some traditional rulers in Egba and Yewa areas of the state, as part of his efforts to improve relationship with key stakeholders and host communities under his command.
While referring to the death of two Customs’ personnel reportedly killed by suspected smugglers in October, Nnadi appealed to traditional rulers in Yewaland whose territories serve as a base for the Customs operations to rise to the challenge of rewriting the narratives tagging the Yewaland as a war zone in federal government’s efforts towards tackling smuggling activities in the country.
Addressing Yewa Traditional Council at the palace of Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, Nnadi said, though his job in the state is to enforce federal government’s policies, to make much easier, NCS under his watch would appreciate a symbiotic relationship between critical stakeholders and other residents of the state by engaging the best rules of engagement.
Earlier in their separate comments, the royal fathers in the Yewa Traditional Council blamed the incessant attacks on NCS operatives on a long period of border closure, which they said forced the youths of the area into seeking alternative means of feeding their families.
Responding to their complaints, Nnadi warned youths of host communities to desist from attacking Customs Officers under any guise.
According to him, NCS and host communities can address whatever misunderstandings that arise in the course of enforcing the federal government’s policies on trade and investments amicable without necessarily resorting to violence on either party.
On his part, the Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba (Dr.) Adedotun Gbadebo declared his support to operatives of NCS in the state, promised that he will continue to pray for the success of the NCS personnel, because of the enormous tasks they render to the country with dedication.
Speaking at the palace of the Agura of Gbagura, Abeokuta, Oba Sabur Babajide Bakre, who is a retired Customs Senior officer, Nnadi disclosed that NCS under his watch is not out to militarize the State, but would appreciate mutual cooperation of the traditional rulers towards overcoming the challenges which smuggling activities posed to the nation’s economy.
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