By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has called on the Nigeria Custom Service to find a better way of managing relationships with people living within border areas in the discharge of its duties, to avoid indiscriminate killings.
Abiodun made this call at the commissioning of the Forward Operations Base (FOB) of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), at Oja-Odan, Yewa North Local Government Area of the State.
He noted that it was important for Custom Officials and the people to relate amicably with each other and avoid recurrence of the last incident, which led to loss of innocent life.
“We must have a way of managing our relationships; we cannot continue to have incidences, where the customs are engaging our people and lives are being lost in the process.
“I want to seize this opportunity to plead with the Nigeria Custom to find a better way of managing relationship. We cannot afford to be losing our people, particularly kids, who are most times innocent.
“There is what is called responsibility consciousness, so I want to plead with our people to learn to be responsible citizens and live within the ambit of the law. Government will not tolerate lawlessness, criminality, cultism and smuggling. We must learn to be law abiding”, the Governor stated.
Abiodun noted that the FOB being commissioned, was a challenge to officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service to be more committed to duty, promising State Government’s continued support to the NIS, within available resources.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, condemned indiscriminate use of fire arms by any arms wielding agencies, saying it’s against the Federal Government law.
While expressing the government’s regret on the loss of lives, he explained that the border drill was in the best interest of the nation, assuring that the agencies involved in the incident would be taken up.
In his address, the Comptroller General, NIS, Mohammed Babandede, disclosed that Ogun has two FOB out of the 12 expected to be commissioned across the country, reiterating his officers’ respect for human rights in the discharge of duty.
He said the current activity going on at the Nigerian borders was not a closure but a drill that would ensure that anyone leaving the shores of the country does not leave through illegal routes.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Comptroller of Immigration, Ogun State Command, Doris Braimah disclosed that the Command had created a synergy with other security agencies, sensitized migrants on the E- registration programme, as well as the establishment of the Personnel Resource Center, saying the FOB commissioned was one out of the two to be commissioned in the State by the Command.
The Olu of Ilaro and Paramount Ruler of Yewa Land, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, called on the Minister of Interior to ensure that sons and daughters in the district are considered in the recruitment exercise of officers, urging the people to support the present administration in its drive for good governance.