Otunba Frank Ogunojemite, Principal Partner British Standard Nigeria Limited and President of APFFLON.
Story by Dili Utomi
Following the incessant attacks on Operatives of the Nigeria Customs by smugglers and hoodlums, the Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria-APFFLON, has condemned in strong terms, these heinous acts and has urged the Federal Government to forestall further attacks.
The Association in a press release stated that “It is in the news that recently, no fewer than three operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service were shot dead while unspecified number of others sustained varying degrees of injuries”.
APFFLON states that it can not agree less with the National Public Relations Officer of Customs, Comptroller Attah Joseph who made the attack public via a press release. The association says that they condemn unequivocally the dastardly act and urge the Federal Government to arise and take charge of the situation.
The Customs NPRO, CC Joseph Attah.
It was reported in the news media that the missing body of a Customs officer was found floating on Ipaja River in Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State, while too others kidnapped by daredevil smugglers operating in Ogun State, were both found dead in Fagbohun Village over the interception of smuggled rice from Benin Republic.
APFFLON continues to vehemently condemn the mindless killings of Customs Operatives as they say that these are human beings who have families and relations too. The incessant attacks and gruesome murder of Customs Operatives, especially at Border areas call for urgent government intervention and should no longer be handled with kid gloves. APFFLON maintains that if at all any investment in technology is in the pipeline, investment in border security should be given top priority. They advise the Federal Government to fortify major entry points with modern security technology and also equip Customs Operatives and other Border Security Personnel with needed gadgets and quality firearms to effectively confront smugglers and hoodlums at any time.
The Association says that they have had enough of the massacre of Customs Operatives as they are human beings, the body advises Government to take proactive measures to protect them. APFFLON warns that if this ugly trend continues, it means that in no distant time, no officer would want to take up such assignments any longer, and that will portend serious danger to the country. Government should invest in latest technology to secure our borders.Training and retraining of Customs Operatives and formation of Joint Task Force to protect all the agencies is very germaine at this critical time.
The Association further urges the Federal Government to put proper insurance scheme in place to cover Customs Operatives and their families. Drones and helicopters should also be deployed for effective border policing. And most importantly, engagement of neighbouring countries for intelligence gathering and access to very sensitive information
They noted that this country is facing serious security threat on all fronts, and applying every effective measure to combat it all will do the country pretty good and also advised the Nigeria Customs Service to improve their public relations and engage stakeholders in all sectors.
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