Hundreds of travellers coming into Sokoto state have been left stranded at the various interstate entry points into the state as they are denied access into the state, multiple sources have revealed to Vanguard news. Sokoto state government had earlier ordered the closure of all interstate routes into the state effective from midnight of Friday, 27th March 2020. The ban is part of efforts to curtail further spread of COVID-19 among Nigerians.
The sources said most travellers from the South West region are stranded at the Tambuwal, Alieo-Jega entry point into Sokoto state. While those coming from the Northern states are stopper at the Tureta and Isa entry points by a team of joint security personnel stationed to ensure enforcement of the closure order. Many residents in Sokoto said they have received distress calls from relations that are stranded at various entrance points into Sokoto who travel out of the state before the ban was effected A banker who doesn’t want his name in print told our correspondents that a family member coming from Osun state was trapped at the entry points in Tambuwal local government area. “She started the journey from Osun on Saturday and arrived Tambuwal on Sunday, she is not aware of the order only to come to Tambuwal and they are not allowed into Sokoto by the security agencies because of the ban. ” I have received more than fifty phone calls from her, she is really worried, the journey is stressful and to make matter worse they are stopped from coming in to come is rest. A security source told our correspondent that the number of stranded persons at the various entry points is massive and becoming too large to control. “At this end of ours, the crowd is becoming overwhelming, maybe some other measures may be taking to manage this situation to avoid this crowd since we are supposed to discourage large crowd and maintain social distancing. Meanwhile, activities in Sokoto state is going on normal as religious centres are open for worship but in adherence to the social distancing and hand washing etiquette. Schools are closed and civil servants from Grade Level 12 and below are asked to stay at home for the initial two weeks as authority observed the trend of the virus in the state and country. It could also be observed that clerics in the state are preaching to adherents to obey the precautionary measures in other to curtail the spread of the virus.