Recently, two officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) were killed by bandits in Kebbi state while on a patrol along Dakingari to Koko road of the state.
The two officers were identified as Abdullahi Mohammed and A.K Shehu. The suspected bandits, after attacking the team on patrol, carted away one of the deceased’s rifles, AK-47.
Within the same week, the Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘B’ of Customs came under attack by suspected smugglers whilst on their legitimate patrol duties to the Dankama Area of Katsina State on Wednesday, 23 August 2023.
The affected officers while carrying out their statutory duties of anti-smuggling, were attacked with dangerous weapons by the smugglers, thereby inflicting several injuries to Inspector of Customs (IC) Haruna A.
Base on the foregoing, Former National President of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Chief Eugene Nweke writes on the twin attacks and what the Federal government needs to do in other to change the narrative.
THE RECENT ATTACKS ON CUSTOMS OFFICER IN THE LINE OF DUTY BY SMUGGLERS AND THEIR ALLIES:
Firstly, my heart felt sympathy goes to the families of the demised Officers, as well as commemorating with the Service. We all pray that their souls and the souls of other faithfuls departed find mercies and rest with the Creator.
Secondly, every sane and patriotic citizen has a moral obligation to condemn any form of smuggling activities in our republic. Killing an officer of the republic in the line of his national duties is an open confrontation and attack on the republic itself, as such leadership must arise to stem the rising incident squarely.
NEED TO X-RAY FACTORS PROMOTING SMUGGLING ACTIVITIES IN THE NATION:
It must be pointed out that International trade between nations thrives within the corridor of the international frontiers , and the law empowers the Customs to Mann and protect the international frontiers for the reasons of revenue generation and prevention and suppressing of unwanted or prohibited trade and services into the country.
In discharging these national duties over the years, several factors does promotes smuggling activities in the republic, which overtime continues to expose security officers to dangers and wanton killing of innocent Officers.
This trending factors needed to be purposefully x-rayed on one hand and the then develop the political and economic will to address the menace squarely.
Wherefore, to consider how to stop smuggling activities and its associated killings of officers in the line of their duties. It is aptly necessary to address the following key
factors amongst other factors promoting smuggling activities in the land, which includes but not limited to:
a). High Unemployment & Poverty Rate .
b). Hash Economic climate.
c). Government Policies / Unequalled praying field.
d). Lifestyle of Political Leaders/ Flamboyance.
e). Quest for Materialism & High Profiteering Tendencies.
f). Corruptions/Security Compromises.
g). Non Adherence To International Protocols, e.g. Trade Liberalisation Scheme/ Trade Prohibition.
h). Porous Border Protection..
In tackling the above factors squarely the issues relating to killing of officers will be addressing reasonably, as researches has shown that no nation can totally eradicate smuggling activities.
Fwdr Dr Eugene Nweke Rff