Ibadan Market Invasion: Babaloja General refutes Bribery Claims

…slams “irresponsible and unfair” rumour-mongers

The recent invasion of some Ibadan markets by officers of the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) has generated a number of rumors as to why a unit of the Customs engaged in the midnight raids. These rumours led to the Babaloja-General of Oyo state; Alhaji Sunmaila Aderemi Jimoh appearing on the radio programme; Fresh FM (105.9) on Sunday morning to refute the claims.

He also categorically stated that contrary to the rumours, not bribing the customs officers was not the reason for the persistent invasion of markets in Ibadan by officers of the Nigerian Customs and described the rumours as “irresponsible, unfair and untrue”

He said: “I received several calls from traders, colleagues, family and friends who got disturbed by the utterances of the man who was on Fresh FM programme yesterday. Fortunately, I also listened to same programme in which one of the discussants made a reckless statement not expected from a responsible person, especially on air; more so that he claimed to be representing traders.”

“I wouldn’t know if the man who anchored the programme asked of the personal data or has visited the shop of the man he picked to speak on behalf of traders. On the other hand, let’s assume he forced his way in while the programme was on, the person anchoring the programme ought to have asked of his full details including shop name, number and the market where his shop located considering the sensitivity of the statement made by him. Which association does he belong to? Who authorized him to speak on behalf of traders, or rice sellers?”

“As at today I am one of the rice sellers in Oyo State, Ibadan in particular, besides, I remain the authentic Babaloja-General of Oyo State, Babaloja-General for the 11 local government councils in Ibadan land, by virtue of my previous positions and the authority that installed me as Babaloja-General of Oyo State, all markets in Ibadan are within my jurisdiction; with all this credentials I was never invited to speak for my people and the business I invested so much on.”

“We are not importers of rice, so, how come we would be thinking of settling officers of the Nigerian Customs. We buy our goods here in Nigeria, from major dealers and sell in retail. How rice gets to Nigeria is not of our concern, so what would have warranted settling customs officers with our hard earned money? Alhaji Jimoh asked.

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