Rice traders at Bodija market in Ibadan, Oyo State on Thursday staged a protest over the overnight raid on their stores by the Nigeria Customs Service.
SaharaReporters learnt that Customs on Wednesday broke into some selected rice stores in the market and took away some of their goods.
A source in the market told SaharaReporters that the raid was described as 'robbery’ by the protesting traders on Thursday morning.
Narrating the development to SaharaReporters on the phone, a top source at the market said, “This is becoming unbearable for us. It is disheartening that what we are experiencing here is not happening in the North. Why would Customs break into our stores in our absence and cart away our goods?
"If this is not addressed, we may begin to ‘charm’ (use juju on) the Customs officers. Where were the Customs officers when we bought the rice? Many of the bags of rice were local rice but we re-bagged them to look like imported rice because people prefer foreign rice. President Muhammadu Buhari has to caution them before they turn Bodija market to a battlefield."
Another source told SaharaReporters that the aggrieved traders were planning to invade the Customs office in the city with violence, which may be similar to the #EndSARS protest that held across the country in 2020 to demand that a notorious unit of the police, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, should be disbanded.
"I hope Customs are not inviting another #EndSARS protest with their attacks on the rice traders. We cannot take it anymore," he said.