by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
Following lockdown and of no movement of vehicles within the state as well as inter-state boarder closure, two drivers, Nazifi Suleiman and Sanusi Umar, who came into plateau state, from Nasarawa state, were arrested for violating lockdown Order in Plateau State and were taken to a mobile court in Bukuru, Jos South local government area of the state.
Our correspondent reports that, Nazifi Suleiman is a driver of a truck and Sanusi Umar a bus driver were conveying 24 persons, including a 15-year old girl and were charged to pay various sums of money for violating the total lockdown order in the state.
Security operatives at D B Zang Junction, which is a kilometer to the Jos South local government, intercepted the two vehicles, a truck and a bus conveying 24 passengers at about 10 am of Tuesday. After interrogations by the police, it was confirmed that the 2 persons were on their way to Bauchi and Jigawa states from Lafia, Nasarawa state.
They were taken and arraigned before a mobile court at the Old Secretariat of Jos South LGC, in Bukuru.
During interrogation, Nazifi Suleiman told the court that they were on their way to Jigawa state from Lafia, Nasarawa state and he had sixteen passengers with him in the truck.
According to him, “We are 17 in the truck, and there are also bags of grains and locust beans in the truck,” and the passengers gave their names as: Bashir Musa, Garba Audu, Shehu Umar, Ya’u Sale, Halili Garba, Bashir Hamba, Adamu Abbas, Musiba’u Sabo and Amiru Dahiru.
Others are: Mukaila Adamu, Samaila Illu, Shamsudeen Surajo, Abdullahi Yunusa, Abdulrazaq Khalid, Zakari Shehu and A’isha Abubakar.
While in his explanation, the bus driver, Sanusi Umar, told the court that he had six passengers also traveling to Bauchi from Lafia, Nasarawa state and gave the passengers names as: Musaba’u Idris, Sani Mohammed Yahaya, Sabiu Abdullahi, Ishaya Dauda, Abdulkarim Adamu and Ibrahim Mohammed.
The court found Nazifi Suleiman guilty of violating the order for exceeding the permitted number of persons he was supposed to convey at a time.
The Mobile Court found them both guilty and asked the driver of the truck to pay a fine of N20,000 naira only, while the bus driver was charged to pay N10,000 naira only for breaking the law.
The court then ordered the Police to escort the 2 persons, after payment of fines, to border area for onward journey to their various destinations because they were not needed in the state.
Conscience Triumph gathered that, despite the CCTV cameras and other security operatives at the border areas the entry points were still porous.
Some people, who spoke to our correspondent, have this to say: “One would wonder – how can a truck and a bus pass through the checkpoints after Forest only to be arrested inside town; could it be that the security are being compromised?”
It is of note that, the second-phase of the total lockdown order in the state is not strictly being adhered to in some areas, as people were seen carrying out their normal activities, while motorists were being seeing moving around within the town.
Some of these include, State and Federal low-cost in Rantya, Gyero Road, Hwolshe, Angulo Jos in Jos South as well as Dilimi, Nasarawa Gwom and Sarkin Arap local government areas in Jos North where shops and other business outfits were seen opened and in operation.
Some eyewitnesses, however, commended the state government for taking these measures to curtail the spread of the COVID-19, but were quick to express dismay over government’s decision to have ordered a total lockdown without a corresponding palliative measure to cushion its effect.
They equally urged government to ensure strict enforcement of the lockdown at entry points, because of the index case that has been recorded in the state.