Caution was thrown into the wind Friday night as officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and residents of Ayetoro, Yewa North Local Government area of Ogun State engaged in a violent clash.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the clash led to the burning of three customs vehicles and shooting of a youth.
A witness, Razak Adeyemi, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES explained that trouble started after a heated argument ensued between a customs officer and a resident suspected to be a smuggler.
He said the matter was ‘resolved’ and both parties went their separate ways.
He added that about an hour later, four fully loaded customs Hilux vehicles stormed the community, with the officers shooting continuously in the air.
The act was said to have angered the youths in the community, hence a violent face-off between the officers and youths.
“It lasted like a normal argument between a man and a customs officer at Oke Rori, here in Ayetoro. They had few minutes of argument after which military men and residents waded into the issue and it was resolved.
“About an hour time, four Hilux vans, with fully armed customs officers entered our community and they started shooting anyhow in the air. After several attempts to stop them became fruitless, the youths in the area then faced them and they started shooting at the people.”
Another resident of Ayetoro, who identified himself simply as Nojeeem, claimed that the officers were “shooting like they have been ordered to wipe out the community.”
“If you see the way they were shooting, it was like a war zone, like they have been told to kill us all. If not because many of our youths are ‘fortified’ many would have been dead by now.
“If you go round the community, you will see people whose clothes were torn by the customs’ bullets, but the bullets didn’t penetrate their bodies; only for one guy ‘Solid Solid’ who was shot three times.”
ALSO READ: Customs confirms three personnel, soldier injured in attack by smugglers in Oyo community
When asked of the victim’s whereabouts, Nojeem said he had been taken away by his family members to a yet-to-be known traditional caregiver.
When contacted, the spokesperson of Ogun Area 1 Command, Hammed Oloyede, confirmed the incident.
He said the command had commenced investigation into the reasons for the clash, promising to get back to our reporter.
“The situation is currently under investigation. So, I will get back to you,” Mr Oloyede responded on the phone.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...