No fewer than 11 trucks conveying Almajiris into Cross River State have been intercepted at the Gakem-Benue border in Bekwarra Local Government Area of the state, Vanguard has reported.
The trucks were intercepted by the government with the help of Peace Corps Nigeria.
The 11 trucks carrying Quoranic education pupils “Almajiri” were intercepted at the Gakem-Benue border in the state and sent back.
Head of the taskforce team at the border, Mr Omang-Idiege, told Vanguard on telephone, yesterday that the trucks were turned back at Gakem-Benue border for carrying large numbers of Almajiri against the inter-state lockdown order of the Federal Government.
Idiege, who is the state Commissioner for Youth Development and Skill Acquisition said the 11 trucks were sent back to their places of origin between May 4 to 17, adding that the taskforce had continued to maintain a steady presence at the border.
Idiege said it was the desire of Governor Ben Ayade, to ensure that the state remain Covid-19 free, hence the effective border surveillance.
“President Mohammadu Buhari had announced an interstate lockdown of persons not on essential duties, I wonder why we keep being confronted with trucks at the Gakem-Benue border conveying Almajirai.
“We will not succumb to any form of challenge or gratification to allow any passenger vehicle or truck conveying Almajirai entrance into the state,” he said.
He commended Ayade for his enforcement strategies and directives that have kept the state Covid-19 free since the outbreak of the pandemic in Nigeria.
On his part, Commandant of Peace Corps Nigeria, Dr Dominic Okweche, said that the Corps was driven by passion to protect Cross River borders against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Okweche said that he has deployed over 100 Peace Corps personnel across the state since the Covid-19 taskforce was inaugurated.