Edo’s Gov. Godwin Obaseki on Monday in Benin charged men of the Nigerian Customs Service to stop intimidating and extorting people in the state.
He gave the charge when the Customs Area Controller in Edo and Delta, Ahmed Usman, paid him a courtesy visit.
In Usman’s company was the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Edo, Mr George Edem.
“We know your men (Customs) have been working hard; we see the checkpoints, but in some cases there have been excesses and intimidation.
“We’d like you to appeal to your men not to intimidate or extort innocent people and traders while carrying out their duties.
“Edo is a business hub where people must pass through and our role as government is to create an enabling environment so that people are neither scared nor afraid to come here to conduct their businesses.
“Let your men know that while they are doing their work they should respect the rights of citizens and more importantly they should not intimidate the people,’’ he told Usman.
“I thank the Customs for the role it played during the last #EndSARS crisis.
“I know about the attack on your warehouse and what it took to make sure there was no loss of lives,’’ Obaseki added.
Obaseki also appealed to the NSCDC to help to train the state’s agro rangers and forest guards as well as vigilantes to protect the state’s forests reserve from illegal loggers.
“I know members of the NSCDC also did well in helping to respond to the #EndSARS incident. We see ourselves as part of the federation; we want to support the work of the Federal Government.
“We wish we are not facing the kind of economic challenges that we are facing now so that we could have been able to do more for you here, unfortunately the situation is same everywhere.
“The reason why you are here is because you are not getting enough support from your employers, but you have to do your work.
“That is why you found it necessary to come here to see us, so, it’s a general challenge and it’s affecting all of us.
“It is forcing everybody to look for alternative and more creative ways to carry on their responsibilities.
Earlier, Edem appealed to the governor for operational vehicles to help the NSCDC to discharge its duties optimally.
In his remarks, Usman commended the governor for doing tremendous work on the Gele Port in Edo.