MACI condemns incessant attacks on Customs operatives
—calls for special incentives for patrol officers
The Media Anti-Corruption Initiative (MACI) has expressed concern over the incessant attacks on Customs operatives on anti smuggling patrol duties.
In a press statement signed by the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the body, Captain Adamu Mshelia and the Secretary, Funso Olojo, the Non- Governmental Organization (NGO) expressed sadness over the spate of the attacks, especially those ones which involved the patrol officers at the Katsina and Kebbi commands, which came in quick succession and where the Customs recorded casualties.
“We view this as one attack too many.
“We condemn in totality the attacks on Customs operatives who are on their legitimate duties, especially the two attacks that occurred last week in Kebbi State where two officers lost their lives and one operative fatally wounded in Katsina State.
MACI sent its condolences to the grieving Comptroller General of Customs, Wale Adeniyi, and the entire service as well as the family of the deceased.
“We commiserate with the Customs management and the families of the victims, and pray for an end to such unprovoked attacks .
The NGO observed that these incessant attacks call for proactive approach from the Federal Government and the Customs management.
“We call on government to arm the enforcement unit of Customs with sophisticated weapons, especially in these days of militancy in volatile parts of the country.
“We believe Customs operatives are not only threat to smugglers but to other criminal elements who may want to sneak in firearms or move around unchallenged.
“This calls for tactical planning on the part of the enforcement unit in order to have advantages over their attackers.
“They must always be on the alert and ensure that they are not few in number.
“Where they are at a checkpoint, some operatives should be in hiding, 100 percent on the alert to respond rapidly to attacks on the officers manning the road.
“Furthermore, we recommend special incentives for these operatives as well as a comprehensive insurance package to serve as motivation for their selfless but dangerous service to their fatherland.
“It is imperative to arm these operatives on the special mission with sophisticated weapons to match the equally deadly arms in the hands of these criminals.
“By this, these officers would not be sitting ducks for the criminals they are meant to haunt down who more often than not, have more sophisticated weapons ” the MACI advised.