The lawmaker representing Badagry Constituency in the House of Representatives, Rep. Babatunde Hunpe, has decried the seizure of Coconuts and incessant harassment of traders by men of the Nigeria Customs Service.
Hunpe said on Friday in Badagry on the Oct. 27 seizure of Coconuts from some traders by custom officials at Agbara check point.
On Nov.4, the Coconut traders in Badagry had staged a peaceful protest against the seizure of 1, 450 bags of locally sourced Coconuts on Oct. 27 by Customs Service on Agbara Road, Lagos.
The traders, under the auspices of Lagos State Coconut Sellers and Traders Association (LASCOSTRAS), had registered their protest at the Palace of Akran of Badagry and Badagry Local Government Secretariat in Ajara.
The General Secretary and Spokesman of the traders, Mr Tunde Hunpatin, had said that the protest was to express their displeasure over the seizure and incessant harassment by customs officials.
Hunpe said that people of the communities were known for Coconuts plantations in the country.
According to him, many residents of the ancient town are feeding their families with proceeds from the sales of coconuts.
“We have over 100 communities in Badagry that produce Coconuts and people from these areas depend on the product to feed their families and send their wards to schools.
“Consequently, people come from different states and cities to buy Coconuts at Agbalata Market before taking them to different destinations.
“A day was even set aside for the celebration of Coconuts in Badagry, when people from all walks of life will come to celebrate the festival in Badagry,” he said.
Hunpe said the seizure of Coconuts and incessant harassment of traders by men of customs was uncalled for, now that the border had been partially closed.
“It did not mean well for the growth of the market.
“If you go to our Coconut market in Badagry now, many of the products are rotten away because customers are no longer coming to buy again.
“Customs should know those coconuts sourced in Badagry and the one coming from the neighbouring countries,” he said.
The lawmaker, however, commended security operatives mounting different check points in the city for their good jobs done in checking influx of contrabands into the country.
“The law enforcement agencies should continue to do their works, but they should understand that not all coconuts come from Ghana,” Hunpe said.