Traders at Bodija market, Ibadan, on Thursday, besieged the state secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, to protest the seizure of bags of rice worth millions of Naira by operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service.
The traders ,who marched from the market through the UI-Secretatiat road, carried placards with different inscriptions and alleged that the customs operatives broke into shops at midnight to seize the bags of rice.
They described the Customs officers action as invasion of their shops and called on the customs authority to return all the rice and money carted away from their stores.
The protesting traders also alleged that huge sums of money left in some stores were also discovered missing after the operation of the Customs officers.
While addressing the traders at secretariat, the Executive Assistant to Gov. Seyi Makinde on Security Matters, Mr Sunday Odukoya, appealed to the traders to be patient, saying effort was ongoing to speak with the customs’ authority on the matter.
Odukoya urged them not to take laws into their hands to avoid escalating the situation.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, the Oyo/Osun Customs Area Command’s Public Relation Officer, Kayode Wey, said it was not the officers of the command that raided the market.
Wey said that the officers of the Federal Operation Unit (FOU), Zone A raided Bodija market.
NAN gathered that operatives of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) raided Bodija market around 1.00am on Thursday and broke into shops, warehouses and carted away bags of rice in 6 trailers.