Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Monarchs in Ogun West senatorial district, under the aegis of Yewa Traditional Council, have called on the Federal Government to investigate, thoroughly, the killing of five residents of Owode-Yewa by the operatives of the Ogun State Command of Nigeria Customs Service, last month.
The traditional rulers made the call on Monday during a press conference held at the Chamber of the Yewa Traditional Council in Ilaro, Yewa South Local Government Area.
Reading a statement signed by 40 members of the Council, the Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, expressed the Council’s sadness at what it termed “the spate of harassment, maiming and killings in Yewa communities by men of Nigeria Customs Service”.
The Daily Sun recalls that five persons lost their lives while several others sustained gunshot injuries, when operatives of the Ogun State Command of Nigeria Customs Service, on January 21, raided a warehouse in Owode-Yewa Community, alleged to have been stocked with imported bags of rice.
But the Yewa monarchs yesterday condemned the killing, which according to them had become so rampant in recent time and called President Muhammadu Buhari, the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of the Department of State Security Service and other concern authorities to immediately order a full investigation into the latest killing by the NCS in Owode-Yewa.
Oba Olugbenle, who observed that if the spate of killings by the operatives of the Customs was not stopped could lead to communal crisis with customs officers in Yewaland, added royal fathers in Yewaland are always subjected to unnecessary harassment by the Customs operatives under the guise of suspecting that their vehicles were smuggled into the country.
While berating the Ogun Area Command of the NCS for abandoning the Customs/Community relationship platform, the Olu of Ilaro, disclosed that all the calls he made and short messages he sent to the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd), DCG (Enforcement) Mr. Chidi and the State Controller of Ogun Area Command, Mike Agbara, over the incident of January 21, were not acknowledged or responded to.
He, however, urged the federal government and the management of the Nigeria Customs Service, to improve on surveillance of the border areas and device means to block porous routes being used by the smugglers, rather than exposing the Service’s inefficiency by killing innocent Nigerians in towns and communities.
Oba Olugbenle, who lauded the efforts of the Nigeria Police and men of the 192 Battalion of the Nigeria Army, Owode-Yewa, for restoring peace in the community, also demanded the arrest and prosecution of the Customs officers involved in the raid allegedly led by one Ali Mamzer Jamiri.
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