A chieftain of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in Oyo State, Engineer Oyedele Hakeem Alao has declared the killing of some residents of Iseyin in Oyo State by some Customs officers as unacceptable.
Alao, who contested gubernatorial election on the platform of AD in 2019, described the killing of the innocent citizens outside the borders and seizure of some truckloads of rice at Bodija and Oja Oba markets in Ibadan as arbitrary, appalling and nauseating.
bioreports recalls that no fewer than four people were killed during a clash between smugglers and some customs officers in Iseyin recently.
Our correspondent also learnt that some truckloads of rice were seized at Bodija and Oja Oba markets in Ibadan recently by Customs during night raids of the markets.
But, Alao while speaking, urged the Customs Controller General, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali to probe the killing and invasion of the markets.
He said that the killing of innocent citizens and invasion of the markets which is outside the borders is an insult to the people.
Alao in a statement made available to bioreports through his Media Aide, Omotayo Iyanda on Thursday, urged the Customs Controller General to probe the incidents properly.
He urged Customs to henceforth refrain from such activities which he said are capable of causing more crises in the country.
“The officials, at this point in time, were not expected to engage in such a battle that would lead to death of the Nigerian citizens considering the mood of the nation. Killing four Nigerian citizens inside the town of Iseyin in a disagreement by customs officials is arbitrary, appalling and nauseating.
“How on earth should customs leave the border posts and start chasing people all about in the town? Why forceful entry into the people’s shops overnight and carting away their goods? This is not only embarrassing but also an insult on our collective sensibility as citizens of this country.
“The action of the customs official chasing people around in town and killing them could lead to a serious crisis, breakdown of law and order and chaos should people react violently in a mob action against the excesses of the customs officials.
“Why do we always forget our horrible pasts so soon? Have customs forgotten the experience of the men of the Nigerian police, SARS in particular, in 2020? Our customs officials need to tread carefully and cautiously at the stage of our national history so we do not set the nation ablaze, more so there are agitations here and there.
“Customs should realise that selective operation of chasing rice smugglers in the south west, which hardly happens in the north, is one of the issues causing suspicion, mistrust and agitations in some parts of the country.
“Therefore, in the interest of national cohesion and unity of Nigeria, customs should refrain from all conducts that would make people feel that some people are citizens than the others. We can only hope that our customs officials would not make us feel that some people are equal than the others as narrated in Animal Farm by George Orwell.
“At this juncture, while appreciating the three senators from Oyo State, Senators Fatai Omotayo Buhari, Dr Muhammed Kola Balogun and Teslim Kolawole Folarin, for making a case for our people in the red chamber, Senate, against the unwholesome conducts of our officers, we charge them to please probe what actually led to the killing and let any offenders be brought to book.”
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