Residents of the border communities in Ogun state have appealed to the federal government to review its order on border closure, declaring “the policy is killing us”.
The people of the border communities specifically pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to rescind his order banning supply of petroleum within the radius of 20 kilometers to the border as their welfare is being jeopardized.
At a press conference jointly addressed yesterday in Abeokuta, the state capital by the leaders of the border communities under the aegis of Ogun West Consultative Forum (OWECOF) and other Stakeholders, the people lamented that men of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have made life more miserable for them under the guise of upholding the presidential ban order on petroleum.
Leaders of the affected border communities, who addressed the pressure conference included two Professors and six traditional rulers from three local government areas affected by the border closure and presidential ban order on petroleum to border communities among others.
OWECOF’s spokesperson and a Professor of African Comparative History and Borderland Studies, Anthony Asiwaju alleged that the order, prohibiting petroleum movement by 20 kilometers to border communities has brought untold economic hardship to innocent people living areas who have nothing to do with economic sabotage popularly referred to as smuggling.
Emphasizing that the presidential order has criminalized the entire peace loving people of Yewa – Aworiland of Ogun West Senatorial district who are principally affected by the order, Asiwaju explained that the order is also having an economic hardship on the people of the area as well as its attendant loss of lives.
The Professor alleged that security operatives saddled with the responsibility of enforcing the presidential order on petroleum have become overzealous and resorted to killing innocent people understand the guise of chasing petroleum smugglers.
Asiwaju alleged that the Customs’ officials have always infringed on the rights to free movements of persons and goods as people of the border communities ate always subjected to series of inhuman treatments whenever they ride on motorcycles either to market places or inter – communities no events.
“The regular suffering infrastructural deprivation and political marginalisation, the people of the territorial authorities and communities in border areas of Ogun state are now having to stand a wide range if human abuses”.