COVID-19: We’ve moved arrested Almajiris out of Ondo State —Govt

By: Ade Adetona

The Ondo state COVID-19 Taskforce and some security operatives have alleged that most of the Almajiris who sneaked into the state from the north through bush parts and porous borders.

SUNSHINETRUTH learnt that the arrested nineteen of the suspected Almajiri boys and women allegedly brought from Kano and Sokoto states by Dangote cement truck, have been returned to the boundary routes where they came from.

The government had closed its borders to people from other states as part of measures to prevent further spread of deadly coronavirus pandemic.

The Almajiris who were discovered at the Dangote Cement Depot along Oyemekun road in Akure caused panic among residents who alerted the authorities of their arrival.

According to the some of the residents of the area who said they kept watch over the unwanted visitors when they noticed their presence alleged that the Almajiris were transported to Akure in one of the trucks owned by popular Cement factory.

Despite that their bodies were stained with dust of cement, one of the Almajiris who gave his name as Garba said that they arrived the state on a bus from Sokoto State.

He, however, refused to state why they embarked on the journey into the state as he also refused to state their mission in Ondo state.

Speaking on the incident, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Akeredolu on Security Matters, Alhaji Jimoh Dojumo said the taskforce had returned the apprehended Almajiris to Ondo state boundary where they were brought.

Alhaji Dojumo who disclosed that the state government had commenced blockage of some routes which he said some travellers have been using to sneak into the state, urged other state governments to be vigilant in their surveillance.

“We received information that some almajiris numbering about 20 were dumped in this particular location by some trailers at night time and they are stranded here without knowing their particular destination.

“Mr. Governor has directed that they should be returned to the way they were coming from because we believe they came in through a border, states before they got here. We expected the authorities of those states to check the movements before getting to us.”

“It is like we have helped Osun State to check it now. They are not moving towards Osun. We don’t even know if this is their final destination anyway but the fact remain that we have been able to check them here and we are returning them back.

“We agreed that our borders are still porous but what we are doing now is the blocking of the unmanned borders. There are a lot of porosity at some border routes and bush parts that security agencies does not have the strength to block.

“and that is where the governor is now blocking totally with concretes. That is why we are moving to Akoko/Imeri axis of the state to go and block all those areas now, to block all those feeder roads.

“Most of the people (Almajiris) might have come through these bush parts beating the authority at the main road. We cannot rule that one out totally. The issue of compromise cannot be hundred per cent rule out.

“Yesterday, we were at Ijare and we have blocked a reasonable part of the place and no vehicle can come to Ondo State.”

Also, the Ondo State Police command has urged residents to be vigilant and report to the appropriate authorities anytime they come in contact with strange faces.

According to the Command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Tee-Leo Ikoro, emphasized that the Almajiris do accompany trucks from the northern parts of the country under the pretence of transporting foodstuffs.

Also reacting, the Ondo State Police command’s Spokesman, ASP Tee-Leo Ikoro, urged residents to be vigilant and report to the appropriate authorities anytime they come in contact with strange faces.

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