The Abia State COVID-19 and Ikwuano joint security team at the early hours of Thursday intercepted two Dangote trucks smuggling 26 Northern youths (Almajiris) hiding inside some buckets few metres from Ikwuano/Akwa-Ibom borders.
Addressing newsmen at Ariam in Ikwuano LGA, the Commissioner for Homeland Security, Prince Dan Okoli wondered why Dangote trucks expected to be conveying cements would suddenly become the smuggler of some Northern youths to various states of the South East, describing the attitude as condemnable.
He explained that attitude of ferrying Almajiris across the states in the South is criminal, considering the ban placed on inter-state travels because of the Coronavirus and therefore called on the Federal government to call the Dangote Group to order.
He warned that if the trend continues Abia State might be forced to ban Dangote trucks from entering Abia State till the pandemic was over, even as he Commended the T. C Chairman of Ikwuano, Deacon Stanley Ojigbo, Civil Defence Personnel and the vigilante groups for their vigilance that led to interception of the trucks.
Prince Dan Okoli disclosed that the Northern youths would be sent back to where they came from and vowed to prosecute the truck drivers in the mobile court sitting in the area.
Speaking, the Transition Committee Chairman, Ikwuano LGA, Deacon Stanley Ojigbo expressed regret over the porous nature of inter-state boundaries, wondering why the military men at the borders would allow the illegal entering into Ikwuano. He called for total lockdown of all the inter-state borders in Nigeria.
He called the Federal government to ensure the security agencies are up and doing, adding that the army and police are not helping matters in the war against the pandemic.
The Ikwuano TC chairman maintained that much is expected from Mr. President as the pandemic has become war and revealed the resolution of the council to make use of local vigilante to add to the enforcement team because the other security agencies are not cooperating accordingly.
In an interview, the leader, Ikwuano Covid 19 Enforcement team, Mr. Paul Nwagbara and the head of operations, Ariam/Osaka checkpoint, Mr. Nwosu Nkemjika narrated how they intercepted the two different trucks separately and alerted the T. C Chairman and other authorities.
They informed that they had earlier sent back two vehicles that were carrying the Northern youths and later stopped the trucks only to find out that Northern youths were inside buckets in the trucks and then arrested them. (Daily Independent)