The President of the Harmonized Traders Union, Dr Bature Abdulaziz, has drawn the attention of the new boss of the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, Col. Hamid Ali, to the continuing illegal smuggling of contraband goods by some dubious persons through some porous borders in the northern part of the country.
Abdulaziz also noted that some unpatriotic Customs officers allegedly still connive with these smugglers to continue to deprive the nation of its expected revenue.
Speaking against the background of the charge by President Buhari that citizens should be patriotic, Abdulaziz said that rather than preaching to Nigerians to be patriotic in the spirit of change represented by the new government, President Buhari should create an enforcement agency that would inculcate into the citizenry good virtues.
Speaking in Kano, Dr Abdulaziz said it will not be enough for the President to tell Nigerians to be patriotic and good citizens.
He said there must be a mechanism by which government would change Nigerians to not only be patriotic but to support the government’s moves towards bringing about the expected new Nigeria.
He noted that history shows that citizens need some element of force before they can be made to work for their nation and its interests.
He reminded President Buhari that it was not only because he was a military leader that his War Against Indiscipline worked in the early 80s but because of the political will of the government of the time.
He stressed that going by what has been exhibited by the administration in the last few months there is sufficient evidence of political will which means that whatever is being introduced by the government will surely work.
Bature Abdulaziz further advised that President Buhari should create something like a commission, agency, board and or task force that will work according to the dictates of democracy to guide Nigerians on how to be disciplined and patriotic.
The traders’ leader also frowned at how, despite the appointment of a new Customs’ boss some businessmen allegedly still connive with some bad eggs in the service to continue to shortchange Nigeria.
He called on the President to beam his searchlight on these racketeers who mainly operate in the northern part of the country, using the porous borders to smuggle contraband, stressing that unless their networks are dismantled, it will continue to be business as usual.