The district heads of Mani and Mashi, in Katsina State, Alhaji Umar Babani and Alhaji Kabiru Aminu, respectively, have warned their subjects against aiding and hiding smugglers in their communities.
On his part, Babani, who is also the Durbin Katsina said that the meeting was to discuss and resolve the differences between NCS and people of the communities.
He recalled an incident that recently occurred at Fadi Gurji village where some customs operatives allegedly shot an innocent person while chasing some suspected smugglers.
“You allowed the smugglers to pass through your communities, that is why such things are happening.
“If you did not give them the chance to come through your areas, while you know they are operating illegally, you will not see the customs officers in your areas.
“Therefore, there is need to understand the functions of the customs and stop attacking them while carrying out their national assignments.
“As traditional rulers, you are our priority, but that would not allow us to ignore our responsibility in ensuring the development of the state and the country in general,” Babani said.
He noted that what was happening between the public and the security operatives was as a result of misunderstanding of their statutory duties.
He commended the Katsina command of the NCS for paying the hospital bill of the injured person.
Aminu however, called on them to always be careful while discharging their duties.
Speaking on behalf of the NCS, Mr Baffa Musa, Deputy Controller, Administration, said the meeting would assist in encouraging them in discharging their duties.
“The command has organised series of consultative meetings and sensitisation of border communities on the power and rights of the customs,” Musa said.
He sympathised with the family of the victim and the people of the area over the shooting incident, saying, investigation was still going on.
“We have three units operating along the border routes, apart from our Katsina command, we have a Kaduna zonal office and also a border drill.
”The NCS has the power to search and investigate a suspect even without a warrant,” Musa said.