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Ogun now war zone for smuggling — Customs Controller



The Controller of Ogun 1 Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Dera Nnadi has said the Ogun and Yewa area of the state were now being seen as a ‘war zone’ for smuggling activities.

Nnadi said this when he visited the Obas in Yewa, led by their Paramount Ruler, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle; the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo and the Agura of Gbagura land Oba Sabur Bakre, at their palaces, on Tuesday.

The Controller recalled the recent gruesome killing of two customs officers at a village in Yewa North, appealing to the monarchs to work with the NCS to make Ogun, especially the border communities peaceful.

He urged the monarchs to speak to their subjects, who he alleged were fond of attacking NCS officers while performing their duties.

Addressing the traditional rulers, Nnadi appealed to them to join hands in stopping smuggling, which he said usually marks the beginning of the various attacks on officers of the NCS.

Nnadi said, “People call Ogun a war zone; let us change the narrative of how people see us. They call Yewa the war zone; the zone for smugglers and I want us to change that narrative. I don’t want people to see Ogun and Yewa in particular as a war zone.

“These smugglers attack officers of the Nigeria Customs Service, this is highly condemnable. Recently, two of our officers were murdered in Yewa in cold blood, this is unacceptable and we want it to stop.

Read also: Customs intercepts ammunitions, expired drugs in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun

“As our traditional rulers, please sensitise your subjects on the dangers of smuggling. From time immemorial, Yewa people are known to be peace-loving, accommodating and law-abiding. What has changed?

“Why are we allowing the younger generation to destroy our historical facts? We must let people know who we are because we generate a lot of revenue for the government. Please help us to stop attacks on customs officers.”

Remarking, Oba Olugbenle noted that Yewa indigenes are not smugglers, and insisted that non-indigenes should be blamed for the smuggling activities at the porous borders in the zone.

However, he agreed that there might be collaborators amongst his subjects, and asked the NCS to collaborate with traditional rulers to fish out the economic saboteurs.

Meanwhile, he urged the government to address the issue of unemployment, poverty and hunger, which he said were the reasons people venture into smuggling.

Also, Oba Olugbenle appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to reopen the borders in Ogun State to allow legitimate businesses to flourish.

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