APFFLON CONDEMNS INCESSANT ATTACKS ON CUSTOMS PERSONNEL
***Urges Federal Government to invest in modern technology for border security
***Says there is need to engage neighbouring countries
By Mcanthony Onuoha
Following incessant attacks on Operatives of the Nigeria Customs by smugglers and hoodlums, Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria-APFFLON, has in strong terms, condemned the heinous act urging the Federal Government to forestall further attacks.
COL.HAMEEB ALI, RTD., CONTROLLER GENERAL OF CUSTOMS
Recently, no less than three operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service were shot dead while unspecified number of others sustained varying degrees of injuries.
According to the National Spokesperson of the Service, Comptroller Joseph Attah, in a statement made available to the media, said some unscrupulous hoodlums suspected to be smugglers resorted to unleashing mayhem on Customs Officers.
In his words, “there appears to be a conspiracy of silence concerning the death of Customs Anti Smuggling Operatives”.
OTUNBA FRANK OGUNOJEMITE, NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF APFFLON
According to Attah, “we heard loud voices criticising NCS for infliction of injuries and purported killings of some Nigerians in clear cases of violence against officers performing their legitimate duties”.
” The service within the month of October 2021,lost 3 operatives with many sustaining varying degrees of injuries.”
Recall that recently, missing body of another Customs officer was found floating on Ipaja River in Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State, while too others kidnapped by daredevil smugglers operating in Ogun State, were both found dead in Fagbohun Village over interception of smuggled rice from Benin Republic.
In a press release signed by the National President of APFFLON, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite, the Advocacy group vehemently condemned the mindless killings of Customs Operatives saying that they are human beings who have families and relations too. He said that the incessant attacks and gruesome murder of Customs Operatives, especially at Border areas, calls for urgent government intervention and should no longer be handled with kid gloves. Ogunojemite added that if any investment in technology is in the pipeline, it should be investment in border security , advising the Federal Government to fortify major entry points with modern security technology and also equip Customs Operatives and other Border Security Personnel with needed gadgets and quality firearms to effectively confront smugglers and hoodlums at any time.
According to Ogunojemite,” enough of the massacre of Customs Operatives, they are human beings, Government should take proactive measure to protect them. If this continues, it means in no distant time, no officer would take up such assignments any longer, and that portends serious danger to the country. Government should invest in latest technology to secure our borders.Training and retraining of Customs Operatives and formation of Joint Task Force to protect all the agencies is very germaine at this critical time.”
“Federal Government should put proper insurance scheme in place to cover Customs Operatives and their families. Drones and helicopters should also be deployed for effective border policing. And most importantly, engagement of neighbouring countries for intelligence gathering and access to very sensitive information”.