Vehicle Inspection Officers in Igbara Oke, headquarters of the Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State intercepted a truck transporting 23 youths.
It was gathered that the VIOs initially impounded the truck for flouting the Federal Government’s restrictions on interstate movement, but discovered later that 23 youths from the North were inside the vehicle.
When interrogated, the driver, who spoke Hausa, said he was going back to the North after delivering cement in Ile Ife, Osun State, when the youths begged him to drop them off in Akure.
However, his passengers said during interrogation they had no particular destination in Akure.
The Special Adviser to Governor Akeredolu on Transport, Tobi Ogunleye, ordered the driver to return the youths to the spot they boarded the vehicle.
Ogunleye told reporters that the state government had ordered the closure of all interstate motor parks across the state in a bid to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.
He stated that it became necessary because the activities of interstate commercial drivers were against the aim of the state government to stop people of questionable character from entering the state.
He said, “It becomes imperative now that all the transport unions – whether it is the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria and every other associated union – should place their interstate parks under complete lock for us to be able to identify those who are actually waging war against this state.”
Ogunleye added, “It is going to be a disservice for you to assist any erring transporter who has violated the rules from Abuja and has got himself into Ondo State with just a thin line to cross to the other side for you to assist him to cross. Rather, it is part of our responsibility to send them back to Abuja.
“We have been in talks with our neighbouring states, especially Osun, but the report we are getting is not palatable. We told them if any vehicle is coming from Lagos and gets to Owena Osun State (boundary), they should not assist them to cross to Ondo State; they should be sent back to Lagos. We want to keep our own side of the obligation.”