Some Nigerians on Friday urged the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (retd), to wear Customs uniform as demanded by the Senate.
They made the call in an interview with Newsverge in Lagos in reaction to Senate’s resolution that the Customs CG must appear before the lawmakers in uniform.
The red chamber on Thursday turned back Ali when he appeared before the members in mufti and directed him to appear on Wednesday in uniform.
After the resolution, Deputy President of the Senate, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, who presided at the plenary, explained that Section 2 of the Customs Act provided that all officers, including comptroller-general, must wear uniform.
Mr Onyekachi Ubani, a lawyer, advised Ali to wear the uniform to the senate as directed “to earn respect and reduce tension in the polity’’.
According to Ubani, politics is about compromise and anything that could cause crisis should be clearly avoided in the interest of the people.
”The Customs CG is retired from the military and should uphold the Customs regulations.
“There is a regulation by the Board of the customs that all officers are expected to wear the uniform; the CG is the number one officer and should comply.
”Also, the senate has oversight functions, they are our representatives. They might not be doing well but we cannot use that as an excuse to allow impunity in the system.
”Ali should in the interest of the service wear the uniform; it is a sign of discipline and identification. Such compliance will reduce tension in the polity, ” Ubani said.
Mr Dotun Ojo, a Youth Development Strategist, said that wearing the uniform would have positive effect on the efficiency and productivity of the service.
”This is a uniform service and if Ali wears the uniform as a leader, it will inspire others, especially the followers. This is the effect of leadership.
”The hallmark of democracy is the dividend to the people and all the arms of government need to put their personal interests aside and uphold national interest to deliver adequately.
”The uniform issue, which to me seem like a trivial or personal issue, has overshadowed the main issue which is supposed to have direct effect on the people.
”Ali should just comply by wearing the uniform to the chamber so that this energy being dissipated on the issue will be better utilised on issues of national interest,” Ojo said.
In his views, Mr Charles Ideho said that Ali did not have any excuse not to wear the uniform because the President, as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces wore the Army, Navy and Air Force uniforms at some ceremonies.
”If the president as a civilian can comply, Ali does not have any excuse. He cannot enjoy all the privileges as the leader of that agency and refuse to play by the rules.
”Since he accepted to do the job, he should show and lead by example so that we stop heating up the polity unnecessarily,” Ideho said.