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Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina state has threatened the Nigeria Customs Service to immediately offer compensations to the families of those who were killed in the Jibiya incident, and prosecute the officers involved, or else, the government will seek redress in court.

Masari who was visibly angry said this when he received in audience, a committee instituted by the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Retired Colonel Hameed Ali, to condole with the government and the people of Jibiya, over the incident.

At the meeting which was not a very friendly one, the Governor bitterly complained about the activities of the customs and their operations, and how they discriminately pursue suspected smugglers, even within the town.

Masari further stressed that the people living in the border communities or villages did not commit any offence being there, rather it is either their ancestral or birth home.

He hinted that it was expected that over the years, lessons must have been learnt, but the case has moved from bad to worse.

He threatened legal action against the service unless compensations are made to the deceased families, and the officers involved are prosecuted in immediate effect.

The member representing Jibiya/Kaita Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Sada Soli, informed the Governor and the committee that a total of 25 persons have been killed over the past three years, as a result of the unprofessionalism exhibited by the customs in the area.

He stressed that people’s relationship with the customs is not very good due to their operations which has resulted in the burning of their operational vehicles in the past.

On behalf of the Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Katsina State, who was represented by the former Chairman, Bashir Ruwan-Godiya, described the incident as sheer killings.

He said enough is enough for the operatives, threatening that they will stop at nothing to see that justice is done for the people of Jibiya and the neighbouring border communities.

RuwanGodiya further questioned the rationale behind opening other borders and closing that of Jibiya, which has grounded the economic and social lives of the people.

The Acting Assistant Comptroller General of Customs in charge of Zone B, and leader of the committee, Uba Muhammed, said they are in Katsina at the instance of the Comptroller General, to commiserate with the government and people of Katsina State and the Jibiya Community.

He also said they are to interact with the families of the deceased to relate their findings to the service headquarters in Abuja for further action.

Muhammed had upon arrival to the Customs House in Katsina, addressed the officers and men where he charged them to always employ professionalism, use of optimum initiative, and caution, while discharging their responsibilities, especially chasing a suspected smuggler within the town.

The committee was also at the Palace of the Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumin Usman, to extend the same sympathy and condolences on behalf of the Comptroller General of Customs.

Although he said such an incident will not occur again, he is optimistic that the service will take drastic and necessary actions to avert future recurrence.