by Azeez Adeniyi
A retired Major-General and former governor of defunct Western State, David Jemibewon has said wearing a Customs uniform will belittle Hameed Ali’s military achievements.
In a chat with Premium Times, Jemibewon said the Senate was just creating issues where there are none.
He described the demands from the senators as unnecessary.
“We tend to create controversy where there ought not to be controversy. In a situation we are today, we should not be focusing on wearing a uniform,” Jemibewon said.
“It would be belittling the position of the uniform of a member of the Armed forces.
Jemibewon, a former Minister of Police Affairs, said he would have resigned if anyone had compelled him to wear police uniform as a minister.
“There was no way anybody could have compelled me to wear uniform. I would have resigned.
“Even if the law said so I would have resigned.”
He repeated that an Army officer should be above a Customs’ uniform.
“The highest patriotic body in any country in the world is the Army.
“You don’t expect someone who has risen to that position in the Army to wear customs uniform.
“Here is a man who has excelled in his military career and you’re asking that one to wear Customs uniform? I don’t see how that will ensure competence and efficiency.”
The Senate had summoned the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali for a planned policy to collect duties on imported vehicles.
The Senate had ordered Ali to appear before it in uniform.
However, the Customs boss failed to honour the invitation twice, until Thursday when he appeared in a native attire.
The upper chamber however sent him back, asking him to appear on Wednesday in uniform.
Ali retired from the Nigerian Army as a colonel.