The Yobe State Government has engaged security agencies and road transport unions to enforce the closure of the state boundaries over the coronavirus pandemic.
The enlisted unions include the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) and Association of Tricycle Operators and Owners. The security agencies include the police, immigration and civil defence.
The Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Security and Enforcement of the Yobe State COVID-19 Committee, Dahiru Abdulsalam, disclosed this at a press briefing in Damaturu after a meeting of the committee on how to enforce the lockdown of the state.
Mr Abdulsalam, a retired brigadier-general, who is also the Special Adviser to Governor Mai Mala Buni on Security, said the committee adopted a multi-sectoral approach to enforce the lockdown and ensure that no case is imported into the state.
He said the committee is working hard to ensure that the state maintains the zero-case status by blocking all boundaries and engaging local communities to report people using illegal routes to enter the state.
He said members of the unions and the enforcement teams will ensure that transporters stop the exchange of passengers at the boundaries.
Mr Abdulsalam said movement within the state is allowed but with strict social distancing, hence the committee reduced the number of passengers in different categories of vehicles.
“There is total closure of state and international borders. The state borders are those with Bauchi, Gombe and Jigawa and Borno states. The International border is that of the Niger Republic.
“We have agreed that there will be no entry or exit in Yobe State except for vehicles conveying food, medicine and pharmaceuticals and fuel but those vehicles are not allowed to carry passengers. We have also limited the number of people in these vehicles. For a trailer, tanker and a single body car, there will be five person allowed, for a counter-truck, three persons are allowed, for Hilux or pick-up vans, two passengers are allowed. This is for passengers coming inside the state.
“Within the state, we are to maintain social distancing in the vehicles. On each roll in a passenger vehicle, there will be two persons. In a car there will be a total of four persons; two each at the front and back, including the driver. For the tricycle, only one passenger and the rider.
“All illegal motor parks are banned from operating. The security has been tasked to arrest the defaulters and the NURTW are to partner with the sub-committee and report any person picking passengers in undesignated parks.”
Yobe has not recorded any case of the virus as of the time of filing this report.
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