There was a mild drama in Yola when the new Controller-General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd), tried to reject a cow presented to him as gift by representatives of the Adamawa business community.
The drama started when Ali, who was in Yola for a two-day working visit, finished addressing members of the business community on his mission to Adamawa when the spokesman of the community, Alhaji Dauda Saidu, after responding and demonstrating how their businesses were affected by insurgency declared the gift of a bull to Ali.
“It is our tradition in Adamawa to present a bull to our August visitors,” Saidu said, a development that prompted Ali to respond immediately querying “why should people who are struggling to look for food make such a big offer?”
Saidu quickly replied by saying that it is the culture and tradition of Adamawa people who are known for livestock production to present either a calabash of milk known as “nono” or cow to important visitors as a mark of respect and a sign for him to always remember his visit to the state.
“You are a special visitor and that is why we feel you deserve a cow instead of a calabash of milk (nono). Please honour us and accept it”, Saidu said.
“But I would have preferred milk”, Ali responded attracting general laughter from the crowd present at the occasion.
Ali, who didn’t drag the discussion further, simply thanked the business community who he described as “strategic partners” and urged them to avail themselves of the new policies being introduced by Customs to boost revenue.
He said the service was taking revenue generation very serious in view of the dwindling revenue from oil and would want all stakeholders such as strategic partners to shun corruption by paying the correct custom duties in their business transactions.