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Customs Killings: Ogun govt takes action

Ogun State government

OGUN, Nigeria – Following the recent killings of students and residents of border communities allegedly by men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the Ogun State Government has concluded plans to set up a committee.

The committee will be saddled with the responsibility of finding a lasting solution to the incessant killing of students and residents in all the border communities in the state.

OgeneAfrican reported earlier that a secondary school girl, Sekinat Agbelade was killed by a bullet fired by men of the NCS, at Agosasa area, Ogun State.

Few weeks after, a male student was reportedly killed same way at Owode Yewa, few kilometres from Agosasa.

Baffled by the incessant killing of innocent indigenes, it was gathered that the state government had a meeting with the Comptroller of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ogun Area 1 Command, Michael Agbara, at the command’s headquarters in Idiroko.

The meeting had in attendance, representatives of the National Association of Ogun State Students (NAOSS), led by its National President, Comrade Gbemileke Ogunronmbi and representatives of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).

Governor Dapo Abiodun was represented at the meeting by his Special Assistant on Students’ Matters, Comrade Azeez Adeyemi, after a tour of border areas in Idiroko, Ipokia, Imeko, Ilara, Ijoun and others.

Speaking to our correspondent on Sunday, Adeyemi expressed worries over the high rate of incessant killings of students and residents in the border communities by operatives of the NCS in the course of arresting suspected smugglers.

It will be recalled that the leadership of NAOSS and NANS had threatened to mobilise students across the country to occupy the State Command’s headquarters of NCS to protest the killings of innocent lives.

However, Adeyemi disclosed that the Governor had intervened, commending them for shelving the planned protest and embracing dialogue to peacefully resolve the issue.

According to him, it was agreed at the Friday meeting that the committee would comprise representatives of the NCS, Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA), NAOSS, government officials and community leaders.

He said, the members of the committee would be inaugurated as soon as the ban on social gatherings in the state is lifted “so that they can begin to hold their meetings and also come up with suggestions that will lead to ending the loss of innocent lives” in the affected areas.

“Ogun as the Gateway State has the highest number of international land borders and this is to our own advantage; but as we reap the economic gains of this, we must also be concerned about the lives of the citizens and this is why we are putting this committee together,” he added.

The State Comptroller of NCS, Michael Agbara, was said to have commended the students for embracing dialogue.

He reportedly attributed the high rate of smuggling in the state to youth unemployment and lack of government’s presence in the border communities.

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