By Henry Odeh
Following perceived reluctance of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to return the bags of rice and other valuable goods carted away from shops in Ibadan during its last raid, Oyo traders residents have urged the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and the Senate not to allow the Customs give preferential treatment to Katsina traders involved in similar situation
The traders maintained that whatever is good for the goose is also good for the gander.
These appeal were made by residents in Oyo state shortly after senate committee on ethics and privileges had instructed the NCS to return all the goods and other valuables seized from the traders in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State.
Speaking with newsmen in Ibadan, one of concerned residents, Zacchaeus Taiwo, lamented that while Katsina traders’ goods were returned to the owners after they had been allegedly carted away by men of NCS, same thing should be done to affected traders in Oyo state stressing that there was no need to continue withholding the goods seized in Ibadan after the senate committee has intervened and called for immediate return of the goods to the affected traders.
Taiwo stressed that men of NCS should not give preferential treatment to only Katsina traders, adding that continued seizure of Ibadan traders’ goods at their disposal amounts to injustice and unfair treatment of Ibadan traders.
Another resident in Ibadan, Adewale Qassim, explained that the action taken by the Nigerian Customs to return the goods belonging to Katsina traders justifies the impression from some quarters that the NCS was bias in its treatment of traders from the North and those from the South West.
Qassim stressed that the officer who led the Katsina shops’ raid had been dismissed, while same decision has not been taken against the ones who led similar raid on Ibadan markets.
He maintained that his thought was also in line with what others are saying that “men of NCS only returned the Katsina traders’ goods because they are allegedly from President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state”.
Another resident who prefers to speak on a condition of anonymity disclosed that men of the NCS who carried out the act should be brought to justice.
The source maintained that such action taken by the NCS could make people resort to self-help if such situation repeat itself while urging both Oyo state and federal governments to do the needful.
He however, urged the Senate President and other senators to prevail on the NCS and call the officers involved to order, and avoid carrying out an acts capable of further heating up the polity and disaffection between traders and the government agency.