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Don’t use excessive force, Masari tells Operation Border Drill

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Aminu Masari

Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari yesterday called on the Sector 4 Command of the National Border Drill Operation to stop the use of excessive force when dealing with civilians in the state.

Speaking when the Assistant Comptroller General (ACG) of Customs in charge of the operation, Bashir Abubakar, and his team visited his office, Masari said the operation was in the habit of terrorising civilians, especially within the city, by sporadic shooting which often led to fatalities.

He expressed the need for the operation to be civil in the discharge of its duties, and that the state would no longer accept cases of sporadic shooting in the cities.

“What we don’t want is the use of excessive force inside the city. We should be more civil in our activity.

“We will no longer accept sporadic shooting in the city. When you are in the bush, sporadic shooting is understandable; but when it is in the city, try and be more civil.

“I, however, sympathise with the men of the Nigeria Customs Service because so many of them have lost their lives during such operations,” he said.

Masari, who said the state was 100 per cent in support of the Federal Government’s effort at securing the country, called on the operation to enlighten people on its activities.

People need to be aware of the operation’s activities so that they don’t view with hostility what is being done to check activities of smugglers in the state and elsewhere, he noted.

“If you close the door and don’t tell people how to get the key, they will break your window. You need to interact with the people; you need to come down to their level for them to become aware.

“You also need to use the traditional institutions, as they have a structure that can be used to educate and sensitise people on your activities,” he added.

On his part, the ACG said the operation had made several seizures of smuggled items since it began work three months ago, including 288 vehicles and hundreds of bags of rice.

Abubakar said lack of knowledge of import and export procedures was the reason behind several smuggling activities going on at the borders.


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