CUSTOMS

The Unit Controller of the Federal Operations (FOU) Zone C’ in Owerri, Ali Ibrahim, has vowed that Nigeria Customs under his Zone will not compromise on its constitutional mandate as regards national security.

Ibrahim said that despite insecurity problems in the Eastern region, Nigeria Customs under his Zone will not relent in its effort to stop the smuggling of dangerous products into the country.

Ibrahim stated that more intelligence was being applied now more than ever before in the anti-smuggling Operations of the customs in view of what looked like an unusual situation around the nation.

Corroborating the fact that South East used to be one of the quiet zones in the country, the Controller stated that the ugly situation now is a temporary setback which will fizzle out with time, as every nation has its own difficult phase in history.

Ibrahim stressed that there was no alternative to peaceful coexistence as that was the only way to engender a virile development of any country.

He said every security apparatchik has a role to play in sustaining national security, and the customs, being major stake holder especially in curtailing the influx of arms smuggling will not fail to maintain the tempo.

According to him, citizens must do everything possible to coexist as suspicion and internal strife were the forerunners of any country’s disintegration.

Making reference to the Sahel region where peace has almost eluded them as a result of internal strife, Ibrahim was of the view that tribal sentiments or religious intolerance must take a back seat if any nation must move forward.

Ibrahim said his Unit would key into the mandate given to it by the Comptroller General which centred on the extant laws of the service in promoting the security of lives by preventing the importation of uncustomed or prohibited items and nipping in the bud evasion of duties, facilitation of lawful trade as well as protection of the economy.

He spoke of the Unit’s desire to make striking or spectacular seizures across the States in the south, as that would be the major yardstick to hold a briefing in no distant future.

Reminded that since he mounted the rostrum, seized goods have been a constant feature and that his officers, especially on the Benin axis were harvesting seizures that could make headlines, Ibrahim agreed but stated that views differ, in this instance as few may not see such intercepted goods as worthy to attract any briefing yet.

He said: “We are looking forward to magnificent seizures to enable us to converge here for a briefing before the year runs out.”

He was again taken on the fact that when striking seizures were not made, it goes to show that the officers were working hard; for smugglers to have gone underground, he also reluctantly agreed but noted that it was also better if striking seizures were made to show that operatives were on top of the situation.

The Unit Controller enlisted the support and synergy between the media and the service in promoting national security.

Noting that the pen is mightier than a sword, Ibrahim went on to state that all security agencies as well as state actors must have synergy to be able to surmount the present insurgency in the country.

He added that positive media will build the nation than destroy it.

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