Barely one month after losing an officer in attacks by smugglers in Ogun state, the Kano/Jigawa Customs Area Command has decried incessant attacks on its personnel allegedly being perpetrated by smugglers and their criminal accomplices in Kano and Jigawa states.
The Command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Isah Danbaba, said this in a statement in Kano on Monday.
He said that some customs operatives came under attack on Saturday, Jan 26, while waiting to execute information on suspected smuggled vehicles which resulted from an accident involving a blue Volkswagen Golf Car not too far from the location of the customs officers.
According to him, it was when the Federal Road Safety Commission officers who arrived the scene of the accident sought the assistance of the customs operatives to evacuate the injured to the nearest hospital, that the suspected smugglers pounced on them, thinking that the operatives were on their trail to arrest them.
Danbaba said while the discussion was going on, the suspected smugglers, who did not want customs officials along the road, mobilised an attack on the operatives claiming that they were the ones who caused the accident.
“Even the driver of the accident car vehemently denied the smugglers’ claim.
“He said the attack left one of the customs officials seriously injured, while the personal belongings of the operatives were burnt.
“Again, in a nother development, the Area Command had on Thursday, Jan. 31, lost an officer who was hit by a fast speeding rice smuggler,” he said.
“The Customs Area Controller, Nasir Ahmed, wishes to express his dismay over the lawless acts and call on parents and cimmunity leaders to call their wards to order.
“He assured that the mastermind would be fished out and prosecuted, adding that henthforth the Command will not hesitate to use appropriate force to deal with this disturbing development”.
“Smuggling is a heinous crime and it is the duty of the Nigeria Customs Service to stop it. any attempt to obstruct our statutory duty will be dealt with decisively. enough is enough, ” he warned.