‘We’ll no longer tolerate killings by Customs operatives’

Again, Customs officers kill suspected smuggler in Ogun

 

A traditional ruler in Ogun State, Oba Ganiyu Adegbola, on Tuesday, said that his people will no longer tolerate the incessant killings of citizens by operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC).

Adegbola, who is the Asale of Isale Kingdom, in Oja-Odan area of Yewa North Local Government Area of the state, expressed fears of any reprisal attack over the death of a 50-year-old panel beater, Moses Atanda, reportedly killed by a Customs officer.

The late Atanda was hit by a stray bullet at his workshop when Customs operatives engaged rice smugglers along Oja-Odan-Eegua road, on Saturday.

Adegbola noted that the death of Atanda was one out of many, saying he might run out of control over the people who are greatly disturbed by these killings.

“I heard information that was initially unclear until members of National Automobile Technicians Association (NATA) came to my house, they were more than 40.

“They said they came to inform me that they want to fight with Customs officers. I asked why and they told me they were fed up over killings of innocent residents of the town by Customs officers. The man that was killed, Moses Atanda is well known to me and he is a panel beater, not a smuggler. I was told he was killed by a stray bullet at his workshop.

“This is not the first time an innocent resident will be killed. We are just thankful that it wasn’t a market day. I have been doing my best to appeal to my people not to be violent, but I may not be able to calm them any longer. Each time this incident happens, they want to attack.

“Let’s assume 100 Custom officers are deployed, these NATA people, imagine their numbers, if they decide to attack, will their family stay behind, no, even other villagers will join and they will overcome these security agencies.

“The name of the Customs officer and rank has been brought to me from findings, he is DCP Nwachukwu. I’m sure the Comptroller will have his file. I want to call on the government to reach out to the Comptroller of Customs, the Federal Government too should do same. Security agencies should be well examined before giving them guns.

“The government should compensate the family of the deceased immediately to calm the situation while they are still looking for ways of ending the killing of our innocent people,” he said.