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Abiodun charges Army, Customs to be civil in duties

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General Officer Commanding 81 Division, Maj.-Gen. Lawrence Fejokwu (left); Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun and Brigade Commander, 35 Artillery Brigade, Abeokuta, Brig.-Gen. Joseph Amadasun, during a courtesy visit to the governor in Abeokuta… yesterday.

Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun has urged the joint task force on anti-smuggling, comprising men of the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), to be more civil in the discharge of their duties.

Abiodun, who gave the charge at the Executive Chambers of the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, when he received General Officer Commanding 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Lawrence Fejokwu, said that the administration had to come in several times to manage the crisis caused by the death of some people in the state as a result of stray bullets from the joint patrol on smuggling.

He said: “Your men are involved with the men of the Customs in joint patrol task force that prevents smuggling across border areas, but what we’ve seen lately is that in the process of trying to contain smuggling, there have been incidences where shots are fired and innocent civilians lose their lives.

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“Lately, we’ve had cases of innocent Ogun State indigenes being killed because men of the Customs and this taskforce are trying to curb smuggling. I know our people are sensitive to this kind of things where school children coming from or going to school get hit by stray bullets, commuters on motorcycles and traders in their shops getting hit by stray bullets time and time again. These had happened and we have had to come in to manage those situations.

“I will like you to help us look into how we can be more civil in dealing with this issue of smugglers and stray bullets killing our citizens,” he said.

The governor, while urging the joint task force on anti-smuggling to be careful while on duty, said that the administration would continue to support men of the Nigerian Army.

The governor, who also appreciated men of the Nigerian Army and other law enforcement agencies for standing tall in the wake of the farmers and herdsmen crisis, said the administration would continue to create an enabling environment needed by the security architecture in the state.

Earlier in his response, Fejokwu, while calling on the governor to use every channel at his disposal to supply the army with information, said that they would work hard to curb crimes.

“We want you to use every channel available to you to continue to enhance our operations,” he said.

I know that you have channels of communication and channels through which information gets to you. I will please request that you use those channels to avail us information so that we nib any threat in the bud before it becomes bigger,” he said.

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