‘Wear uniform or resign,’ – Senate to Customs boss

TFB : 'Wear uniform or resign,' - Senate to Customs boss
Hameed Ali
The Senate has asked the Hammed Ali, who is the Comptroller
General of the Nigeria Customs Service, to quit his job if he cannot appear
before it in his uniform.
Recall that last Thursday, during plenary, the upper chamber
made it mandatory for Ali to appear before it in his proper Customs uniform
over the agency’s plan to impound old vehicles that does not possess customs
duty from April.

On Sunday, March 12, An APC Senator, Solomon Adeola,
representing Lagos West, said: “If
retired Colonel Ali cannot respect the Customs service or he’s ashamed of
wearing its uniform and rank of his position while appearing before peoples’
representatives, then he should honourably resign.”
The Senator also clarified that the Senate required Ali to
wear his uniform in order to protect the organizational integrity and
discipline in the agency.
At the Thursday session, Adeola had supported Senator Dino
Melaye on the need for the Senate to check Ali’s leadership skill.
He said the Customs boss is “carrying out the affairs of this agency as if he is the managing
director or the commander-in-chief of this country.”
In response to the instruction, the Comptroller General said
he would not wear his uniform to the National Assembly, stating that he was not
appointed to wear the uniform. Ali who has always been in mufti while carrying
out official duties since his appointment.
Ali’s statement prompted Senator Adeola to say: “Military and paramilitary uniforms
inclusive of ranks are part of the symbol of legitimate authority conferred on
the wearer to carry out certain duties on behalf of the government.

“Except in covert
operations, an officer in these organizations operating without uniform could
be taken to be performing illegal duty or worse, be taken as not representing
the institution at all. And as stated on the floor of the Senate in plenary,
the Comptroller General is rank that can only be worn on uniform and not on

“The APC-led
Government of President Muhammadu Buhari was elected on the promise of change,
adherence to rule of law and renunciation of impunity in any forms.

“The story we hear
daily is the arrogance and high-handedness of the CG and name dropping of the
President. We had it on good authority of his reluctance to be answerable to
the Minister of Finance as stipulated in laws of the land.

“We that were elected
cannot look the other way while the people we represent are subjected to
avoidable hardship orchestrated by an unelected appointee in a bid to cure the
inefficiencies of the agency he leads. We are in a democracy.”

The lawmaker emphasized that the Senate supports Buhari’s
anti-corruption initiative as well as effort to improve the country’s revenue
in a bid to pull nation out of recession but warned that nobody should use
personal agenda to drive public policy.
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