The senator representing Ogun West, Tolu Odebiyi, has appealed to the Federal Government Joint Task Force on smuggling to exercise high sense of responsibility in its line of duty.
The Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) had, few days earlier, commenced a joint security exercise codenamed “EX-SWIFT RESPONSE” which led to the closure of the south, southwest, north-central and northwest borders.
While reacting to an alleged siege on the border area of Ogun West by the task force, Senator Odebiyi asked the task force to be mindful of the fact that people were going about their daily lawful activities.
A statement on Friday by the media aide to the senator, Olubunmi Omoogun, said that on hearing what was going on in his constituency, Odebiyi immediately put a call through to the Controller of Customs in the area to confirm the veracity of the information on siege in the area.
The statement quoted the Senator as saying that “the people of Obele, Ohunbe, Oja-Odan and Imeko areas are law abiding citizens.”
It said that Odebiyi insisted that “the Joint Military Task Force should go only after the people involved in illegal commercial activities along the border area and not people going about their normal legitimate duties.”
The Ogun West senator was also quoted to have said, “We will have a town hall meeting to address the huge challenges facing our people in these areas with a view to solving them. I urge the Customs boss in the area to please ask his officers to proceed with caution in the interest of law abiding citizens of Ogun West Senatorial District and other law abiding citizens of Nigeria.”
The lawmaker noted that he received a distress report that “people living in the border areas are now living in fear as they can no longer bring their commodities like palm oil, garri and other food stuff to the market for sell due to the overzealousness of some security agent and multiple road blocks.
He promised to visit the affected areas for on-the-spot assessment of the situation as part of plan to move a motion of public importance as soon as the Nigerian Senate resumed plenary.