Eleven travellers who contravened the inter-state travel ban have been intercepted by the Oyo State Police Command in an attempt to sneak into Akure, the Ondo State capital through Ibadan.
The travellers explained that they came from Sokoto to go back to their families in Akure, after more than four weeks of being stranded in Sokoto as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown.
In his reaction, Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, said the travellers would not be released to the Sokoto State government until they undergo COVID-19 tests which had already begun.
Governor Makinde made the remark after receiving a briefing from the Commissioner of Police in Oyo, Sina Olukolu, at the Gbagi Police Station where the culprits were detained overnight in Ibadan, the state capital.
He said that the travellers were apprehended at the Asejire Dam axis of the Ibadan-Osun boundary, adding that they claimed that they were travelling from Sokoto en-route to Akure.
The governor insisted that the travellers would remain isolated until the results of their COVID-19 tests were received.
He said, “We are not able to explain how they got here in the first place because there is inter-state lockdown throughout the country.
“They claimed they came from Sokoto and they must have passed through so many states.”
Governor Makinde revealed that he has given directives to the effect that the travellers would be kept isolated in Ibadan until the results of their COVID-19 tests were received.
He, however, noted that he had contacted the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, saying the travellers would be sent back to Sokoto State afterwards.
The governor stressed that governors in the country were still discussing on how to enforce the inter-state lockdown throughout the country, to curtail the spread of coronavirus.
“It is a discussion going on with the rest governors in Nigeria because inter-state lockdown was put in place for a particular reason and what we have agreed to do is, in each individual state where you have inter-state motor parks, there must be on lockdown.
“If they are locked down, at least 80 to 85 per cent of our problems would have been solved. It is an ongoing discussion and I believe that will be the ultimate way to go,” he stated.
During an interrogation, the driver of the bus, Muritala Aliyu, said they passed through old roads and bushes from Sokoto to Niger and Kwara States and then got into Ogbomoso, from where they entered Ibadan.
He added that they were going to Akure “to reconcile with their family members”.
Members of the medical team of the COVID-19 Task Force were at the police station to administer COVID-19 tests on the travellers to determine their status.