THE Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun State Command has reacted to allegations of incompetence and visible indifference to securing the borders of Ogun State by the National Association of Nigerian Students, Ogun State chapter.
The Spokesman of the command, Hammed Oloyede, said the achievements of the NCS in Ogun under the watch of the Comptroller, Ogun 1 Area Command, Peter Chad Kolo negated every allegation made by the students’ body.
He said, “I don’t know where they got their fact or statistics from. As patriotic citizens, when you observe certain things, you state them and the efforts you are making. NCS is doing a lot to reduce smuggling to the barest minimum. If someone is doing everything to combat smuggling and someone somewhere is making allegations that could be regarded as baseless. It is totally uncalled for, it is unfounded. Are they blind to the good works we have been doing? It is disheartening.
“They should not forget the nature of our borders, yet we are still policing it. They don’t know what they’re talking about. They should just cooperate with us. If they have information, they should release it; if they have intelligence, they should tell us.”
NANS had last week blamed the Customs for the influx of illegal firearms into the country through land borders.
The students also demanded the immediate redeployment of Kolo, whom they accused of “gross ineptitude, absolute incompetence and visible indifference to securing the borders of Ogun State.”
At a press conference jointly addressed by the Chairman of NANS in Ogun State, Damilola Simeon Kehinde; National President, National Association of Ogun State Students (NAOSS), Ogunrombi Gbemileke and the National Vice President of National Association of University Students (NAUS), Adebowale Abdul-Ghaffar Adeniran, the students alleged that the upsurge in smuggling activities and the influx of illegal firearms into Nigeria had further worsened insecurity in the country.
The groups said, “There has been a severe and steady decline in service delivery of Nigerian Customs Service, thereby breaking the trust and mutual relationship between the agency and Ogun State citizens. Beyond smuggling of contraband products, they now take advantage of the Nigeria Customs Service’s nonchalant attitude to sneak in arms and ammunitions.
“The relaxed attitude of the Nigeria Customs Service is slowly turning Ogun State into a hotbed for gun-running, thereby jeopardizing the security of the citizens. More than ever, the circulation of unregistered and unlicensed guns on the street has massively increased. If this trend continues, we may start experiencing gunfights with heavy casualties across our campuses.”
The student leaders urged the NCS to work in synergy with other sister security agencies to address the problem.
“This steady decline has exposed students and the general public to grave danger by the unabated actions of smugglers in the state,” the students said.
The students called for the redeployment of the Comptroller before August 31, 2021, failure of which would lead to protests.