Ogun Vows Strict Enforcement of Interstate Travel Ban

Dapo Abiodun

Kayode Fasua in Abeokuta

The Ogun State Government has warned that there is no exception or privilege accorded anyone, no matter how highly placed, in the ban placed on inter-state travels.

The Special Adviser to the state Governor, Dapo Abiodun, on Security Matters, Mr. Sola Subair, made the disclosure in Abeokuta yesterday.

Subair, a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, expressed concern that despite the government spirited efforts to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic through the closure of Ogun State borders against other states, some people still willfully defy the order.

“The state government is committed to protecting the people at all times as well as flattening the curve of the pandemic.

“Therefore, any person or group of people that enters the state, especially during this period of inter-state travel ban, will be turned back to their state,” he declared.

He charged the security agencies not to hesitate to arrest and prosecute anyone caught resisting correction.

Complementing him, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Kunle Somorin, said: “No matter where they hide, our law enforcement agencies would fish them out.”

The governor helmsmen’s tough talk came on the heels of last Tuesday’s arrest of four youths from Niger State, who sneaked into the state, having hidden along with their motorcycles inside a truck bearing food items.

They reportedly alighted at Ogere on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, and from there road to Abeokuta, where they hoped to start commercial motor operation.

But they were soon arrested by the operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

Parading the youths in Abeokuta, the state Commandant of the Corps, Mr. Hammed Abodurin, said they were intercepted at Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta at about 10:30 p.m. last Tuesday for violating the lockdown rules and for being in the public without using face masks and riding unregistered motorcycles.

Abodurin said: “Further interrogation showed that the youths who are from Niger State with their motorcycles, claimed to have boarded a truck conveying foodstuff from Kotangora to Lagos, and alighted at Ogere and continued the journey with their motorbikes to Abeokuta, where they were eventually arrested.”

The commandant condemned drivers for using their trucks meant to convey food items to bring in people who do not have fixed addresses and means of livelihood to state.

He added that the offenders would be handed over to the state Mobile Court for trial for violating the lockdown and ban on inter-state travel for appropriate sanctions.

However, in his defence, in an interaction with journalists, one of the youths, Ayuba Musa, 27, denied knowledge of the lockdown in the state and the ban on inter-state travel, saying they came from Niger State as a result of hunger.

Others arrested are, Luda Joshua, 26; Amos Ibrahim, 25, and Samuel John, 30.