The Value News

Ali Commiserates With Masari, over Border Drills Patrol Vehicle Accident That Claimed Lives In Katsina State

 

By Stephen Ubanna

 At the instance of Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel and Comptroller General, Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, Muhammed Ubah Garba, an acting Assistant Comptroller General of Customs, ACG, and Zonal Coordinator, Zone B, Kaduna, had, led a Customs delegation,  to Katsina, President Muhammadu , a retired Arm home statey General The Customs delegation were in the  state  to commiserate with Aminu Masari, a former ,Speaker of House of Representatives and the  governor and  the people of the state  over the loss of lives in Patrol vehicle accident on Monday, August 9, 2021.

 Informed sources told The Value News that on arrival at Katsina, he was said to have made a stop- over at the Katsina  Area Command, under the close watch of Shedi Wada, a Deputy Comptroller, where he was said to have inspected guard  of honour mounted by the officer before  proceeding to the katsina state Government House to deliver his message from the Customs Comptroller General.

ACG Mohammed And And Managament Of Katsina Command

 The Customs Authorities may have acted swiftly to avoid giving the aggrieved  people of Jibia and the adjoining Communities the opportunity to attack Customs personnel on the road to avenge the death of those  who lost their live in the hands of the Comptroller Aliyu Mohammed led Border Drills, which Patrol Team vehicle had an accident. The Patrol vehicle was said to have failed break while pursuing  a smuggled allegedly vehicle allegedly loaded with  Foreign parboiled rice from Republic of Niger.

Note that  Foreign rice and vehicles had been  banned from coming into the country  from the land border by the Katsina state born Nigerian President on January 1, 2017.  It was not surprising why the Customs ACG, had urged the officers at the Katsina Area Command and other Customs interventionist units in the state  to be cautious  why pursuing Smugglers allegedly carrying Contraband, inside the town, particular,  Foreign rice or vehicles to avoid road  mishap  that may result in loss of lives.

While at the Katsina state government House, the Customs Zonal Coordinator, was said to have declared their mission of being in the state.‘’We bring to His Excellency special  condolence message  from Ali, the Customs boss and his entire Management  over the unfortunate  incidence that occurred  at Jibia and its adjoining Communities  on Monday, August 9,2021, when sadly deaths were recorded  and others are being hospitalised’’. 

In an emotional outburst, he had prayed, May Allah,SAW, grant  the souls Aljannah Firdausi, Amen’’.  He was said to have assured the governor, who had threatened to drag the Customs to Court over the death of the ten people  in  the state that  ‘’this unforeseen operational hazard  that could lead  to such an eventuality  in the future  may not be experienced again in the state’’.

 He may have gladdened the heart of the governor when  he said that ‘’as a responsible government agency whose cardinal objective  is the economic security  of the nation, National Food Security Agenda of the government  and the prevention  of smuggling of uncustomised goods , arms  and ammunition  and other prohibited items into the country’’ it would not hesitate in doing so.

He noted  that the service  are not ‘’unmindful of its paramilitary responsibility  which is essentially  the protection of lives’’  which he had said  was in ’’ line with the vision  of the Customs Comptroller Genera’’l. He was said to have presented the letter of condolence  from the Customs  Comptroller General, Management, officers and men of the service to  the Appreciative governor.

In apparent response to the  ACG. Muhammed remarks,  Masari, the Katsina state, governor who could not hide his feelings   was said to have called on the Customs Authorities ‘’to conduct  a full scale investigation  into the circumstance  that led to the death  of the ten people in the state and left many  others  injured  when  a  Customs Border Drill  Patrol vehicle  lost control while  on official  duty along Jibia town, described as one of the most notorious smugglers route between Nigeria and the neighbouring West African country of Niger. Note that the smuggling situation  in  Katsina is so bad that the retired Army General had said that ‘’only God would  effective Patrol the numerous borders  between the two West African countries.

  The Customs Zonal Coordinator may have used the opportunity of the visit to the Nigerian President’s home state to interact with the indigenes of the border Communities and their Leaders, the bereaved families and other victims of the accident. He may have taken the bold initiative to do so in order to report back their findings to the Customs boss.  Informed sources to The Magazine, that Wada the Katsina Command acting Area Comptroller arranged the visits as there were  large turnout of people  in most the Emirs Palace and District Heads, visited, to welcome the Customs delegation.

ACG mUhammed And His Entourage Visit The District Head Of Jibia

 Recall that  it wasthe first step that was said to have been undertaken by the Katsina Command Area Comptroller on assumption of duties to familarise himself with the border Communities and   interact with the people, urging them to do right thing to avoid  running trouble with his men who would not hesitate toseize their  smuggled goods.

  He was said to have thrown his door open to those making inquiries on how  to go about their importation to avoid  running foul of the Law. It is on record that the Command Patrol Teams have been making seizures of Contraband ranging from Foreign  par boiled rice, vehicles, Vegetable Oil  to other Contraband items without any confrontation from the people as some of them were said to have turned away from smuggling to pursue genuine business.

Large Turnout Of People At The Jibia District Head’s Palace

This is where the Border Drill personnel may have to work closely with the officers and men of the Katsina Command and other Interventionist units in the state instead of competing with them to run after smugglers and subsequently make seizures.

Many people believe  that the  Border Drill officers may have played into the hands of the people who are very sympathetic  to smugglers  with the loss of lives as there have been calls by the Coalition  of Northern Groups, CNG, for the immediate  suspension of the activities  of the adhoc  Team  in the state

Jamilu Aliyu Charanchi, the Coordinator of the CNG, was said to have called on the Custom Authorities to set the necessary machinery in motion for immediate hat Compensation to be paid  to the families  of the deceased persons  who had lost their lives  in the accident.  He noted that the Customs Authorities   have to pay Compensation  to the families because  it is not the first time  such an accident orchestrated by Customs personnel had happened in the state and no Compensation was paid to the victims’ families.

An aggrieve Charanchi, fears  that if the reckless behavior   of the Customs Patrol Teams in the state  if not  decisively  addressed  now, ‘’ it may result in a breakdown of Law and Order in the state if it happens in the future.   Perhaps, this may have informed why Ali, the Customs boss has seriously warned against pursuing alleged smugglers in the town to avoid loss of lives.

 Mostost of the Border Drilsl personnel  in Katsina state  were said to have gone under ground with their branded vehicles for fear of being attacked by angry Youths , thus leaving the cost clear  for the officers and men of the Katsina  Area Command the Federal Operations Unit, Zone B, to patrol and contain the activities of smugglers in the state.   

Stephen Ubanna

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