In a rare show of appreciation, some Nigerians are pouring encomiums on the operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for their vigilance and steadfastness in the fight against the deadly ebola virus disease with the seizure, on Thursday, of a trailer load of smoked bush meat suspected to be monkey meat imported from Libya.
The smoked meat was smuggled into the country through the Jibia border in Katsina state before it was impounded by Customs officers.
Monkey is suspected to be one of the major sources of the ebola virus which has caused the death of five Nigerians.
The trailer loaded with the meat was seized by the Federal Operation Unit (FOU) Zone B led by one Assistant Comptroller Gambo Azare.
The meat was destroyed under the supervision of the Comptroller, Federal Operation, Zone B of the service, Comptroller Tijani Maina and the deputy governor of Katsina State represented by the Commissioner for health.
Maina said that Ebola is a global pandemic which requires intensive surveillance of the nation’s borders to curtail the influx of foreigners and aliens particularly from countries where the outbreak is severe.
He assured that the Customs will intensify surveillance at the borders for the safety of the citizenry and appealed to the people particularly border communities to assist the Customs with useful information to track down unpatriotic persons willing to disobey the law.
The officer who led the operation, Assistant Comptroller, Gambo Azare, told newsmen at the site where the seized meat was destroyed that the driver of trailer conveying the killer meat took to his heels, abandoning the vehicle when the trailer ran into a ditch after a hot chase by his men.
He further said that when the consignment was intercepted, officials of National Agency for Food Administration and Control (NAFDAC) was contacted who advised that the seized meat be destroyed within 24 hours.
It was gathered that the Nigeria Custom Service and other government agencies have intensified the surveillance since the outbreak of the Ebola virus especially when report broke that out countries were closing their border to infected countries.
A trader at the Jibya border, Umar Tanko, while commecidng the NCS said, “I thank them for this feat. Imagine if this has found its way into restaurants and homes. Many people will consume it as delicacies and possibly become infected.”
Other Nigerians who commented on the facebook page of SHIPS & PORTS DAILY also praised the Customs officers who intercepted the consignment and urged further vigilance especially at the land borders.
“Ebola was imported into Nigeria by a foreigner from Liberia. Now this has happened again. I think government should start thinking of how to close our borders with the neighbouring countries who are inflicting this pain on us. But I think the Customs officers who intercepted the smoked bush meat should be specially commended,” one Frederick Amah, stated.
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