There was confusion in Ibadan, Oyo State yesterday as patrol team of the Nigeria Customs Service engaged suspected smugglers in a day light shootout.But for the timely intervention of Chief Muraina Agbomeji, the traditional ruler of Bode-Igbo, a densely populated community near Omi-Adio in Iddo Local Government Area of Oyo State there would have been bloodbath in the community.
Our correspondent gathered that the shootout would have resulted in day-light bloodbath among school children and other members of the public in the locality.The suspected smugglers were allegedly coming with a vehicle laden with contrabands notably imported foreign rice.
Eye witness accounts revealed that the shooting spree which lasted almost one hour, occurred at about noon in a residential location along a route leading to the Customary Court complex in the vicinity, to which the Customs operatives allegedly trailed the suspected smugglers. It was further learnt that on-going court session was abruptly halted with litigants and the jurists hurriedly trooping out, scampering for safety.
In the same vein, the agitated pupils and staff of Bode-Igbo Primary School in the neighbourhood and their counterparts at Bode-Igbo Community Secondary School, were seen scampering to safety .
The monarch of Bode-Igbo, Chief Agbomeji, whose Palace is a stone throw to the vicinity, on learning about the indiscriminate shootout, reportedly summoned up courage to come out and intercede in the turmoil. Worried by the ugly development, the traditional ruler stoutly condemned smuggling in all its ramifications but prevailed on officials of the Nigeria Customs Service to be more proactive in their operations rather than engaging in shootout at residential locations.
He wondered what the situation would have been should any innocent person had been hit through accidental discharge in the cause of the shootout.The monarch who was not amused by activities of traders who engaged in contrabands, warned them to desist and be law abiding henceforth.Only recently, the Customs Area Controller for Oyo/Osun Command, Comptroller Christopher Ogar Odibu bemoaned the incessant activities of smugglers within the territory noting that their activities had wreaked so much havoc to the national economy.
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