By Emmanuel Obisue
National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS and National Association of Ogun State Students, NAOSS have jointly urged the Federal Government to disband soldiers deployed to the Idiroko boarder area in Ogun State.
The students alleged that the troops led by one Major from the 243 Battalion, Badagry, have been extorting, intimidating and harassing residents and commuters on the Idiroko, Owode, Ilaro boarder area.
The groups conveyed their grievance in a statement jointly signed by Comrade Damilola Simeon, Chairman, NANS Ogun state and Comrade Ogunrombi Oluwagbemileke, NAOSS National President, made available to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.
“We have observed with dismay the recurrent atrocities, dehumanizing actions and all sorts of abuse of power by the men of Nigerian Army at the Idiroko boarder area in Ogun state.
“This officers have graduated in their impunity to overriding the duty of the Customs in the boarder area. The impunity which gave them the confidence to attack the men of the Cusoms Service at Oja Odan at the wee hours of Saturday, 22nd of October, 2022.
“The soldiers have successfully stationed checkpoints along Idiroko boarder area where they forcefully extort people and intimidate them under the pretence of ensuring security in the territory.
“The primary role of the Nigerian Army is to protect the territory of the country from external aggression and not to interfere in internal or civil matters.
“This aggravated impunity resulted to the killing of an innocent civilian who was trying to rescue his brother who was beaten into coma by this same set of soldiers on Sunday, 23rd of October, 2022.
“The question we want to ask is that; when did the Nigerian Army received the order from the President and Commander of the Armed Forces to takeover the responsibilities of the Nigeria Customs Service?
“As concerned associations and mouthpiece of the good people and students of the gateway state, we condemn in its entirety the life and peace threatening activities of the Major t led squad of the Nigerian army in our state.
“We no longer have confidence that we are safe in our own state should the atrocities of military continue without an arrest. We are inundated with the excesses and mess of these men. In the meantime, we shall wait for the Nigerian Customs Service Ogun Zone to make a responsible report against this team as we expect an instant action from the Nigerian Army.
“Should our expectations be failed, we shall mobilize all our forces against them,” the statement read.