Customs officials in Aflao are said to be perpetrating violence against local traders and residents all in the interest of enforcing the closure of the borders; leading to a near death of a 24 year old Mawuli Degbe.
Some Customs officials on Sunday threw a knife at Mawuli Degbe after subjecting him to severe beatings amid slaps and punches at his abdomen.
Mawuli Degbe who sustained severe injury behind his neck was later rushed to the hospital by the same officers who realized that his condition was critical.
Narrating his ordeal, Mawuli Degbe said he was sent by his old mother to pick some food items; 2 bags of rice and 2 bags of sugar from a nearby village and when he was about to leave the house in which he went for the items, he saw Customs vehicle approaching.
“So I took the motorbike carrying the items back into the house and came to sit in front of the house. The Customs vehicle approached me and the officers came out and started beating me asking me where was the items I was bringing out,” he said.
He said: “After slapping and knocking me severely, I heard their commander from the vehicle asking me to leave, so as I left their midst he threw a knife at me. I felt a sharp pain behind my back on my neck and I fell down. I went black.”
According to Mawuli Degbe, he later heard a scuffle between the Customs officials and Immigration over who to carry him to the hospital.
He said he was finally taken to the hospital by the officers who, after handing him over to the nurses run away.
“Later they took me to the hospital and asked the nurses to take care of me and that they will come back. I was at the hospital till the following day, and nothing was heard about them,” he said.
The said officers, according to him went to the house and seized his motorbike but when he followed it up at the Customs office, he was asked to come back on a later day.
Meanwhile, a Security Analyst in Aflao Dan Akpaloo in an interview condemned the action by the Customs officers
According to him the security forces are creating a climate of repression and violence against the local traders who cross the border with food stuff such as tomatoes pepper, gari, beans, maize etc.
He said, allowing security forces to act with impunity will further erode human rights, since their actions do not represent the protection of human rights but “travesty of them.”
He said these people must be restrained by the government for perpetrating such evil against the citizenry.
Dan Akpaloo however indicated that the close down of Aflao border, is making life unbearable for the local people because these people normally make a living across the border.
He said COVID-19 is a Global health emergency, but “we must be warned against trying to contain the virus by restricting travel or trade. We understand there is pandemic but telling people not to trade is like telling them not to breath.”
By: PROSPER AGBENYEGA