Even as the Nigeria Customs Service last week disclosed its readiness to train about 8,000 officers in weapons handling, the 3 Division of the Nigerian Army on Monday commenced a week intensive training of about 2000 Custom Service Personnel on how to shoot guns without necessarily killing innocent civilians
DAILY TREND recalls that in recent times, there has been public outcry over activities of Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A customs officers killing innocent Nigerians while chasing smugglers with bag of rice
Meanwhile, the weapon handling training held at the 33 Artillery Brigade Brigade Shooting Range Shadawanka Barracks in Bauchi, the state capital.
It focused on weapon handling, range management and physical fitness.
Declaring the live firing session open, Brig. Gneral Michael Durowaiye of the 33 Artillery Brigade said the training was aimed at assisting the Custom Service to effectively counter activities of smugglers whom he said have become hardened in their attack on Custom personnel.
He said the training will also improve the relationship of the Nigeria Army and the Para- Military Services particularly the Customs Service.
“Customs personnel have been encountering smugglers that are now handling sophisticated weapons , due to this , some of you have lost your colleagues”
” As a result , the Nigeria Custom Service decided to collaborate with the Army Headquarters in Abuja in order to train you on weapon handling and how you can effectively bring it to bear on the enemies of the Nation’s economy , which are the hardened smugglers.
” We are going to train you for a week , divide you into ten groups. We start with the theoretical aspect on basic marksmanship principle. The emphasis will be on safety and you will be in the field from morning till 6:pm in the evening.”
Brig.Gen. Michael Durowaiye charged the customs personnel who are from the rank of CA 11 – ASC 1 to put in their best in the practical aspect of the training.
He advised them to follow the instruction of the weapon training instructors.
‘ We expect that at the end of your training, there will be a great improvement in your weapon handling and how you particularly arrest or deal with smugglers , there is a way you can arrest without killing unless it is necessary ,” he said further.