Taking umbrage at the indiscretion of certain operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), who allegedly opened fire on fleeing suspected smugglers near a Nigerian Army (NA) barrack in Katsina State, Comptroller-General of Customs Dikko Inde Abdullahi, has described the action of the Customs personnel as insensitive to prevailing tense security situation.
“In the face of current security challenges, firing while pursuing smugglers near a military barrack was tactically wrong and insensitive on the part of the Customs operatives,” Abdullahi said.
According to him, the circumstances that led to the unfortunate conflict between the Army and Customs in Katsina should be totally discouraged.
Consequently, the Customs Chief has directed the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Katsina/Kaduna Area Command, to liase promptly with the Army authorities in Katsina to resolve whatever misunderstanding the shooting might have generated between both services.
Noting that both services were “partners in progress,” Abdullahi explained that the military had assisted the Customs in many instances, including in Katsina State, to overwhelm rampaging smugglers.
“We are partners working for the common good of the nation,” the Customs chief said.
Abdullahi, who stressed that his office related well with those of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and all the service chiefs, stated that he naturally expects that this gesture is replicated down the line to foster unity among the operatives in dealing with Nigeria’s common enemies, who, according to him, were the criminals breaking the nation’s laws.
Commiserating with the Commanding Officer, 35 Battalion, NA, Natsinta Barrack, Katsina, Lt. Col. A.O. Oyelade, over the injuries he sustained while confronting suspected insurgents in the recent attack in Daura, Katsina State, the Customs chief prayed for his quick recovery.