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Sit-at-home: At Anambra, Enugu borders security agents still muddle matters up



Again, National ight journalist, MATHEW ONWUASOANYA, made investigative visits to the road and borders of Anambr and Enugu States and found how security agents’ implementation of the restriction of movement directive affect the success of the measure. He writes:

YESTERDAY, Thursday, April 9, may pass for just another day at the two borders linking Amansea,  Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State with Ugwuoba,  Oji River Local Government Area of Enugu State.

But for long lines of ladden lorries and tankers lining at both ends of the two border posts along Enugu-Onitsha Expressway.

 It was like beholding a column of ants. While nearly all of them were loaded with items ranging from drinks, petroleum and pharmaceutical products, some honked furiously like a woman on labour throes.

 It was as if blaring ceaselessly would help them to cross the border posts. Drivers of the lorries were calling on just anyone to come to their rescue, with right of way.

  According to those of them stranded at the Amansea end, law enforcement agents in the security teams manning the post told them that an order came earlier in the morning that no vehicle would be allowed to enter or leave the entry point.

An interview with a commander of the police team, an Assistant Superintendent of Police who did not want to be named, confirmed what the drivers said.

He acknowledged te some sf the vehicles in the traffic stand-still are bearing items that may be categorised as materials hence could be under essential service providers and exempted from sit-at-home but they were working on a directive to close the boundary. He did not disclose the order came from.

   At the Enugu  State end of the border where  there was another strand frenzied traffic jam, the lorry drivers said they were being ‘holed’ for refusing to part with N1,000 each which the security agents demanded from them.

  But while this went on, commuter buses loaded and offloaded passengers  at both ends of the border posts, depending on where the commutters  were heading between Enugu and Onitsha.

The people on foot crossed pass the borders without problem. The make shift motor parks at both ends where active.

It was as if the closure order was only directed against vehicles rather than humans as the possible vectors of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Snake charmers and magicians were entertaining a crowd at some corners.

It was as if the border closure orders of the two neighbouring states have turned that section of the highway into the kind of scenarios in Idiroko and seme boundaries of Nigeria and Bene Republic.  

  Health workers from Anambra State Ministry of Health were found doing temperature checks on persons crossing into the Amansea (Anambra) side of the boundary.

They were expending visible energy to get the best from the situation by insisting on the ultra-violet-ray scanning  as nobody passed their post either from Enugu side into Anambra State or from the neighbourhood without submitting themselves to their test. The passers-bye were made to queue up and pause one after the other for the exercise.  

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