From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Students in Ogun State have raised concerns over the influx of illegal firearms into the country through the state’s land borders.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Ogun Joint Campus Committee National Association of University Students (NAUS) and National Association of Ogun State Students (NAOSS), complained that the Ogun State Command of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) was becoming a toothless dog in fighting smuggling activities in the state.
They gave this position at a press conference, jointly addressed by the Chairman of NANS JCC, Damilola Simeon Kehinde, National President of NAOSS Ogunrombi Gbemileke and the National Vice President of NAUS, Adebowale Abdul-Ghaffar Adeniran, on Thursday, in Abeokuta.
The students accused the leadership of customs in the state of ‘gross ineptitude, absolute incompetence and visible indifference in securing the borders of Ogun State.’
They alleged that the upsurge of smuggling activities and the influx of illegal firearms into Nigeria had further worsened insecurity in the country.
‘There has been a severe and steady decline in the service delivery of Nigerian Customs Service, thereby breaking the trust and mutual relationship between the agency and Ogun State citizens.
‘Beyond smuggling of contraband products, they now take advantage of the Nigerian Customs Service’s non-challant attitude to sneak in arms and ammunitions.
‘The relaxed attitude of the Nigerian Customs Service is slowly turning Ogun State to a hotbed for gun-running, thereby jeopardising the security of the armless citizens.
‘More than ever, the circulation of unregistered and unlicensed guns on the street has massively increased. If this trend continues, we may start experiencing gunfights with heavy casualties across our campuses,’ the students alleged.
They urged the NCS to work in synergy with other sister security agencies to nip the problem in the bud, saying “this steady decline has exposed students and the general public to grave danger by the unabated actions of smugglers in Ogun.