Rice smugglers in Katsina State held special prayers last Friday to seek divine intervention against the Customs Service for stopping them from bringing in the product. The Comptroller of Federal Operations Unit of Customs in zone B, Mr. Amade Abdul, disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Kaduna yesterday. He said reports reaching them indicated that the smugglers, during the prayers, asked God to intervene on the ban of the commodity. “Reports had it that they organised prayers during Juma’at prayers that God should touch the minds of Customs officials who are trying to stop food from entering their town. No, we are not their enemies and we are not trying to stop food from entering their area. We are only implementing government policies on the illegal smuggling of rice. This is in the interest of all of us because it will allow farmers in our country to do well,” he said. He urged clerics and traditional rulers in the areas to educate their people with their sermons and preaching and not to mislead them. “The prayers showed they are ignorant of government policies, especially as its concerns rice importation. There is a laid down procedure for anyone willing to import rice into the country. If you follow the procedures, nobody will challenge you,” he said.