Cross River State COVID-19 task force border patrol team intercepted five truckloads of Almajiris from the northern parts of Nigeria.
The border patrol team is made up of Peace Corps members,vigilantes,youth groups and traditional rulers of the various border communities.
Our source said that “the enforcement team had blocked the Bekwarra-Benue Federal Highway at Gakim,Bekwara LGA of the state in a stop-and-search routine check and found that one of the trucks carried so many children hidden under the goods at about 7:00 pm on Wednesday.
On further search, they discovered that about four other trucks were laden with more children suspected to be Almajiris form the far North, and decided to turn all the five trucks back and subsequently blocked all other routes to forestall re-entry.
Dominion Times source said the trucks’ drivers tried to plead that they are allowed to pass, claiming they had a pass from “above” but the team refused and insisted that they return the children to where they came from.
A member of the task force team who did not want his name disclosed, told our source that “the team was led by a Commissioner who said it was the result of comprehensive search and blockade of interstate vehicular travels, which his team was poised to enforce.”
“After a thorough check on the five trucks we discovered that most of the passengers, aside goods, were almajiris who did not meet COVID19 protocols, we had to force them to return,” he said. The chief press secretary to the governor, Hon Christian Ita, said “it was not about their region,but returning them back to where they were coming from was just inline with the COVID-19 protocol. All the task force team followed was the standard procedure by ordering them back to their destination,we see no reason why this should generate any heat,we have been returning people since the COVID-19 incident,this is not the first,” he said.