Smarting from the aborted attempt by five trucks with Almajirais and a corpse from Kano entering Cross River State, the state government has reiterated it’s stand that members of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and Presidential Task Force (PTF) coming to the state must be quarantined for 14 days and their samples sent for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) test.
Working on intelligence report, five trucks loaded with Almajirais and a corpse were on Wednesday stopped at Gakem border village in Bekwara Local Government Area of Cross River State with Benue State and returned to where they came from.
Even though the State government is not suspecting any foul play but some members of the public are wondering why the Almajirais coming should coincide with the planned visit of NCDC and PTF to the state that so far has not recorded any COVID-19 case.
Speaking with The Guardian on Saturday yesterday on phone on the planned visit of NCDC and PTF officials and the Alimajaris coincidence, the State’s Commissioner for Health and Chairman COVID-19 Taskforce Committee, Dr Betta Edu said, “we have heard of Alimajaris trying to get into different states across the country so we had to beef up our security at the border areas to ensure they don’t come in.
“Personally I don’t think it has anything to do with the NCDC. I don’t think it has a direct link with them or it deserves any link with them. They are welcome to our state and we don’t have issues with them. We are just saying when they come, they have to follow the procedure which includes being quarantined for 14 days and then send their samples to the laboratory for test”.
On when the NCDC will come she said, “we don’t know, whenever they are ready we are ready”
Throwing more light on the intercepted trucks and the Almajirais Edu said “we got a kind of intelligence report that some people were trying to bring in some Almajirais and a corpse of someone who died in Kano and they are trying to bring the corpse in so we had to send a Commissioner down there and he is the one in charge of the border.
“We also spoke with the chiefs and the community people to set up a Vigilante which is what they did working with the police and other agencies like Civil Defence and others doing a 24-hour shift. So the day after yesterday (Wednesday) the trailers carrying the people arrived at the boundary so they had to send them back with the same trailers and asked them never to come back to Cross River. They also sent the corpse back”.
She explained that “they got there around 11 pm and they were mostly children under 18 and there were few women and men. They came in with about five vehicles and one had some kind of foodstuffs in it and one carried the corpse. The rest carried humans and there were very big trucks”.
Edu gave the assurance that the state government will continue to work hard to keep the state free from the virus but everyone must abide by the rules, covering face mask, keep social distancing and others.