NCS Not Insensitive To Plight Of Abducted Staff’s Family – PRO

The Nigeran Customs Service has debunked the allegation that the organization has not officially reached out to the family of one of their staff who was whisked away, alongside two other Customs officers, by suspected Boko Haram operatives, two weeks after the sad incident took place.

Public Relations Officer of NCS, Mr. Joseph Attah, who refuted the claim, posited that whoever drew up such conclusion was not being fair to the NCS.

TheFact Nigeria gathered that the three Customs officers were said to have been abducted during an attack on Geidam, a border town in Yobe State on February 9, 2021, while on official duty.

Two weeks after, wife, friends and other family members of one of the affected officers, Jimoh Folowosele, have appealed to the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) to wade in and help facilitate the release of their son.

While addressing a press conference in Ado Ekiti on Wednesday, Idowu Folowosele, a younger brother of the kidnapped officer, who said the news about the abduction of their brother has thrown his family into untold confusion, appealed to the Nigerian Customs to speed up action that would facilitate his timely release.

“It is now exactly two weeks that we received the sad news of the abduction of our brother, Jimoh Folowosele, a Deputy Superintendent of Customs in Yobe State and up till now, we have not received any official correspondence from the Customs. Yes, NCS admitted that he was kidnapped but since then, mute has been the word”, Folowosele said.

Folowosele, who said the situation has thrown his brother’s wife and children into distress, called on CG, NCS, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) to use his good office to assist the family by intervening as soon as possible.

“We have always known Col. Ali as an upright and committed Nigerian who values the lives of his officers and we are using this opportunity to call on him to wade in by interacting with law enforcement agencies and other relevant authorities to establish contact with the bandits to see to the release of the officers. In the same manner, we are also appealing to other well-meaning Nigerians to help us appeal to the kidnappers to release our brother”, a distraught Folowosele said.

Also speaking at the conference, one of the friends of the abducted custom officer, Mr. Fola Ayedun, said much as he appreciated some strategic moves that must have gone into how Mr. Folowosele would be released, he appealed to NSC to put some family members into confidence.

“There is no doubt the fact that issues related to kidnapping are sensitive and require strategic approach, but even at that, it is important that the NCS is in touch with the immediate family of the victim to lessen the burden and trauma they might be going through. In the last 10 days, all his loved ones, especially wife and children have been experiencing sleepless night simply because nobody can hold on to anything that suggests any plan is being made to secure Mr. Folowosele’s release,” Ayedun stated.

Reacting to the allegations, NCS PRO said, “For God’s sake, this is an abduction that concerns the entire command and the leadership is not leaving any stone unturned in its desperate move to address it. The people abducted were three and I’m sure NCS is in touch with their families”.

Shedding more light on the development, the P.R.O, North West Operation, with headquarters in Bauchi, Abdullahi, also corroborated Attah’s position that the issue is daily being addressed.

“Let me start by saying the allegation that NCS has kept mute over the issue is unexpected. On the day the issue happened, everybody in the command was thrown off-balance. In fact, some pressing official assignments were suspended that day with everybody thinking of the way out. On that fateful Tuesday evening, the insurgents had attacked Geidam, a town in Yobe State near the Nigerian border with Niger Republic.

Unfortunately three officers of the Nigeria Customs Services, including Mr. Folowosele who led the team were abducted. Some other officers ran into the bush. If the abductors were to be usual kidnappers, perhaps the story would have been different but they were Boko Haram members. All the same, as we daily tell the families of the other two officers, we are working with the military and other useful sources to secure their release,” Abdulahi stated.

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