By James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
The Comptroller of Customs in charge of Ogun 1 Area Command, Peter Chad Kolo has declared that his Command is not a killer squad but a revenue-generating agent operating under the rules and guidelines set up by the federal government.
Comptroller Kolo stated this during his courtesy visits to Alake and the Paramount Ruller of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, Agura of Gbagura, Oba Saburi Babajide Bakre and the Olu of Kobape, Oba Olufemi Allen-Taylor.
According to him, the Nigeria Customs Service is not a blood tasting organisation but a government agent that works under laid down rules and regulations hence, the need for traditional rulers and all necessary stakeholders to join hands and support the Customs.
Kolo, therefore, appealed to all the traditional rulers to educate and enlighten their subjects particularly, smugglers and the youths on the need to see Customs Officers as friends who are working for the economic development of the nation.
Disturbed by the recent killings at Ayetoro and Osu in Obafemi Owode local government area of the state, the Comptroller said he has taken some steps and informed Customs headquarters all they needed to do, believing that such incidents will not occur again.
He further emphasized on the need for the traditional rulers and all stakeholders collaboration with the Customs saying, the crazy for imported goods by Nigerians is doing no good but hampering the economic development and thereby generating more unemployments for the youths.
“I had witnessed some ugly incidents in the few weeks that I resumed in the State. There has been lost of lives through stray bullets during crossfire between Customs and smugglers and the worst thing is that the innocent lives were affected.
“This is the reason why we have to come out and appeal to our royal fathers and stakeholders for their collaboration to prevail on our youths to stop smuggling but embrace legitimate businesses. We are ready to facilitate, encourage and support legal trades,” Comptroller Kolo stressed.
In his response the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adetotun Aremu Gbadebo pledged his support for the Customs and prayed for the new Comptroller to succeed in Ogun State.
The traditional ruler noted that many retired Customs Officers are today traditional rulers citing the example of Agura of Gbagura, Oba Saburi Babajide Bakre and the Olu of Kobape, Oba Olufemi Allen Taylor saying, the new Comptroller is at home.
Also in their separate responses, the Agura of Gbagura, Oba Saburi Babajide Bakre and Olu of Kobape, Oba Olufemi Allen Taylor who are also retired Customs officers pledged their supports to ensure a successful tenure for their former colleague.
Comptroller Kolo ended his courtesy visit at 35 Artillery Brigade, Alamala, Abeokuta where he had a closed-door meeting with the Brigade Commander, Brigadier General E.J. Amadasun.
He was accompanied by his Deputy Comptroller in charge of Administration,( DC ) Nnadi, Deputy Comptroller, I. K Oladeji in charge of Intelligence, Roving B and Coordinator of Abeokuta axis, Assistant Comptroller (AC) Jacob Akpan, Deputy Superintendent of Customs (DSC) O.Q Ilori who is PA to Comptroller and the Command PRO DSC H. B Oloyede among others.