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By: Oluwatosin Adesola
……Security Agents scold Governor’s Ally.
There was a palpable apprehension at some of the Ondo state borders with neighbouring states at the weekend when the state Governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties, Dr Doyin Odebowale engaged in shouting match with security operatives located at the borders to prevent “outsiders” from entering the sunshine state as part of to stop spread of coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the newsmen who witnessed the scene told SUNSHINETRUTH that Odebowale who said he was acting on the directive of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, lambasted policemen at the borders for frustrating the government’s efforts at curbing the disease.
Despite Ondo State Government’s directive on border closure, it has been business as usual at boundaries linking Ondo with other states
The State COVID-19 Interministerial Committee and the Special Task Force led by the Commisoner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro and Odebowale had visited some boundaries linking the Ondo with other states, to express anger that the entry and exit points to the state are still open to commuters.
People of the state had accused security agents of involving in alleged sharp practices at the borders especially at Owena axis (Ondo-Osun states border) by allegedly collecting bribe to allow travellers into Ondo territory contrary to the government’s directive.
For instance, the Nigeria Union of Journalists,NUJ in the state had over the weekend raised alarm over the development saying “We appeal to the Ondo state government to be more proactive in checkmating the spread of COVID-19 particularly inter states movement and alleged misconducts at Ondo state borders.”
While monitoring the situation at the weekend, the governor’s Aide Odebowale alleged men of the Ondo state police command of being responsible for the influx of people from other states despite the ban on inter-state movement.
Odebowale also alleged that the police were frustrating the effort of the government at containing the spread of the pandemic.
The governor’s Aide who visited the state boundaries on Sunday, accused the police of allowing people to enter the state after paying a bribe to the police.
He said, “You people are supposed to turn back any unauthorised vehicles but you allow them to pass through. You are corrupt. You are not doing your work.”
Some of the policemen were said to have dismissed the allegations by the governor’s Aide, scolding Odebowale for embarrassing and levelling unsubstantiated allegations against the security agents.
The situation was said to have led to agitation and panic among onlookers at Owena axis of Akure-Ilesa highway.
Also reacting, the Head of the police team, Mr Ebisine Amy denied the allegations
Ebisine said the policemen at the boundary were doing the work professionally.
“We don’t collect money from anybody and no vehicle has passed through this place. My men are doing their work accordingly,” he said.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro said the state was doing everything within its power to stop the spread of the pandemic.