A traditional ruler in the Idiroko Community of Ogun State, Oba John Ojo, the Oniko of Ikolaje, has accused officials of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) posted to the area of extorting drivers and passengers.
The Oba said the officers take delight in demanding money from drivers and passengers alike and often force them to pay unwarranted levies.
“The people of Idiroko are hungry because of the effect of the border closure. There are too many checkpoints on our roads and it only leads to suffering for road users. Customs officers and other operatives manning the roads are there to extort drivers and passengers alike.
When we go to other Nigerian communities to buy petrol because of the lack of access in our communities, the security officers on the road make us pay exorbitantly for Nigerian products. They will charge us almost the cost of the fuel.
Idiroko is not a rice-producing community; that means we still need to get supply from other Nigerian cities or states but the Customs officers on the road make sure they extort and frustrate people bringing goods to our communities.
Now, the price we buy the normal Nigerian products is about 30% above normal,” Oba Ojo lamented.
The monarch appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to ease the land border closure, adding that residents of his community are law-abiding and don’t deserve the treatment they get in the hands of security officials.
A trader in the area, who gave his name as Oluwafemi Johnson, said many Nigerians living in the area are suffering due to the highhandedness of the security operatives.
“They have made life unbearable for innocent citizens of border communities, collecting bribes on Nigerian products that we transport down to Idiroko and its axis for sale. All these money are eventually added to the goods for the final consumer.”