Jigawa Border Communities Decry Customs Brutality

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By; DAHIRU SULEIMAN, Dutse

Communities around Nigeria/Niger Republic Border in Babura Local Government Area of Jigawa State have expressed concerns over what they termed as nonchalant attitude of Customs officers, causing loss of innocent lives and property in the area.

The communities’ outcry followed a recent gas explosion allegedly caused by Customs gunshot, which left 10 injured  and burnt many houses, vehicles and other property in Babura town.

Speaking to newsmen, Chairman  Babura Community Organization, Alhaji Sani Ibrahim said the mayhem caused by unprofessional conduct of the Customs is saddening and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call them to order.

He narrated that, the people of the area are living in horror and fear as always, Customs  releases unnecessary gunshots or chases suspected smugglers on high speed in an unprofessional manner, which for  often leads to fatal accident and destruction of valuable  property of residents of the community. 

“It is on record and you can access this record from Jigawa Police Command that between 2015 to date, over 20 lives were lost in such incidents, including  deliberate extra judicial killings perpetuated by Customs officials,” Sani alleged.

One of the Babura residents whose house was affected by the recent gas explosion, narrated that the Customs officers chase vehicle suspected to be carrying  gas cylinders from Niger Republic and open fire on the vehicles in  residential  areas, which consequently led to the explosion and the unfortunate destruction.

Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Lawal Shiisu said, Customs border drill number 12  pursued  one Iveco vehicle loaded with gas cylinders from Niger Republic, heading to Gumel Local Government Area of the state.

He said one of the gas cylinders spilled and caught fire, in the street of Babura Local Government Area and the explosion began as a result of which 11  people sustained various degrees of injuries, with  houses and property   affected.

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