By Innocent Orok
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Ogun State Command has of recent been a hot bed of battles between the Customs and alleged Smugglers which often left casualties on both sides.
Earlier this month, precisely on Sunday 6th January, 2019 the Ogun Command lost an Officer in active service after sustaining machete cuts from the smugglers.
The smugglers who are bent on legalising their business of smuggling are regrouping again to challenge the Customs officers on lawful duty.
According to a press statement by the Customs Public Relations Officer of the Ogun State Command Abdullahi Aliyu Maiwada, the smugglers regroup yesterday to exchange fire power with Customs officers at the Owode axis of the Ogun state Command.
The statement reads
“Unfortunately, at about 1200hours of Monday 21st January, 2019, some smugglers and their accomplices gang-up against an anti-smuggling team from discharging its legitimate functions at Owode (Yewa) community.
“The Officers who went on an Operation to save Nigerian economy from the mayhem of smugglers who stocked a place of worship and some houses nearby with rice suspected to have been smuggled into Nigeria .
The team faced stiff resistance from some armed criminals inflicting serious injuries on two Officers and minor injuries on other members of the team, and further destroyed official patrol vehicles.
The encounter led to exchange of fire between Officers and smugglers with their accomplices. For peace to reign, the team resorted to tactical withdrawal”.
The Customs also said that the hoodlums took law into their hands by barricading the main road leading to Idiroko, scouting for Customs Officers to attack.
“They are also battling with law enforcement agencies to gain access to Customs formations for further confrontation”.
The Customs however commend the patriotic roles of other agencies and law abiding citizens in assisting the Command to achieve its lawful duty of revenue collection and suppression smuggling in the interest of the country.
The activities of smugglers in our bordering communities is taking a dangerous trend as Officers of the Customs are mostly falling victims on carrying out their legitimate duties.
It is high time the Nigerian people rise up to condemn the activities of the smugglers as the Customs Service is only working to better the society for the good of all.