By Hammed Shittu
The Nigeria Customs Service, Kwara State Area Command at the weekend said no fewer than 24 motorcycles and one Keke NAPEP were seized during hoodlums attack on the command.
Some irate youths over the weekend stormed the premises of the command with the intent to cart away the seized smuggled rice and other consumable goods, but were repealed by the men of the command.
During the melee, two persons were feared killed while two officers of the command sustained serious injuries.
In a statement issued in Ilorin, the state Public Relations Officer of the command, Mr. Chado Zakari narrated how hoodlums with the intention of looting and setting the command and government properties ablaze were caught.
“The hoodlums came in large numbers armed with guns, machetes, axes, charms and other dangerous weapons in an attempt to unleash mayhem to the Command.
“The Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Ahmed Hussaini Bello who was still in office as the time of the attack called for immediate reinforcement from the Nigerian Army.
“On the other hand, all efforts by the CAC to address the hoodlums to douse the tensed atmosphere at the command’s gate proved abortive. Officers were left with no option than to response appropriately to spontaneous attack unleashed by the hoodlums.
“Unfortunately, 40 minutes exchange of gun fire led to the serious injuries of two of our officers who are now responding to treatment in our health facilities,” it stated.
It added: “It is important to state that 24 motorcycles and one Keke Napep meant to move goods out of the command were seized during the encounter”.
Zakari added, “To this end, the Customs Area Controller hereby seized this opportunity to call on parents, guardians, community leaders, Religious leaders and opinion-moulders to caution their wards on the dangers of towing the path of extreme illegality and anarchy.
“The Command will do everything humanly possible within the ambit of the law to protect government properties and ensure that peace prevail against all odds.
“It is important to reiterate that officers of the Nigeria Customs Service are only implementers of Federal Government Policies in the overall interest of national growth and development and the hostility by hoodlums and their accomplices will never be a distraction in discharging our statutory responsibilities”.