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Ogun West: It’s Unfair To Say I’m Insensitive To Customs Killings – Sen. Odebiyi

The lawmaker representing Ogun West in the National Assembly, Senator Tolu Odebiyi, has reacted to the claim by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and the National Association of Ogun State Students (NAOSS) that he has remained silent on the killings and harassment at the areas of the state by men of the Nigeria Customs Service.

The Senator on Thursday debunked the allegation by the student association in Nigeria and Ogun State.

Odebiyi was on Wednesday called out by the student bodies of being insensitive to the incessant killing of his constituents, allegedly by men of the NCS.

They described the Nigerian lawmaker as being “passive and dormant”.

The Senator while reacting to the allegations noted that it is “unexpected and unfair”, he called on the students to join hands with him in fighting the situation head-on.

“Certainly, the unpleasant situation that led to the killing of 15-year-old Master Rilwan Bello and Mr Kehinde Ogunji by the men of the Nigeria Customs is totally condemnable and I commiserate with the families of the deceased.”

Odebiyi while speaking on his action towards the incessant killings noted that having received a series of reports in respect of several developments, he swiftly followed up efforts geared towards salvaging the situation.

While expressing concerns over the recurrent rift between the people and the Customs, the Senator said he had, on August 25, 2019, February 22, 2020, and March 14, 2020, in addition to a motion tabled at the plenary, responded by outrightly condemning the actions of the Nigeria Customs Service.

He further stated, “I have responded to the chaos in Imasayi by speaking to the Governor, His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR, who was firmly briefed and gave assurances that the situation is under control, as he has gotten commitments from the military and Nigeria Customs officers on the ground.”

“The Eselu of Iselu Kingdom, Oba Akintunde Akinyemi, and written an official letter to the state Commissioner of Police and heads of relevant security agencies in the state, in order to find a lasting solution to these unfortunate incidents.”

The Ogun West Senator said he had written letters to the Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hameed Ibrahim Ali and even visited Idiroko, where he met with the community and the State Comptroller of Customs to address the killings and other border issues.

“In furtherance to my extraordinary dedication to continuing to protect the interest of my people, I assure that further proactive and legislative interventions will be employed to stem the bad situation after the COVID-19 lockdown,” he said.

Odebiyi said he would like all stakeholders, including the students’ bodies to “understand that we all need to join hands and ensure that our homes, schools and communities are safe for all.”

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