By Olivia Isibor, For Agenda Watchdog, May 11, 2020
(AGENDAWATCHDOG) – The uncontrolled influx into the South and Middle-Belt by youths, including Almajiris from the far northern part of the country, despite the nationwide ban on interstate movements, as part of measures to stem the further spread of the dreaded COVID-19 Virus across state borders, has attracted the ire of Southern and Middle Belt leaders who, under the aegis of the Southern and Middle-Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF), have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to use his good offices to publicly declare as “illegal” what they referred to as an “invasion”.
According to the group, the continued influx of the aforementioned youths across state borders was an illegal development that could degenerate into an “uncontrollable situation”, if nothing was done about it, asking that the security agencies be immediately deployed to the affected areas to prevent further uncontrolled border crossings and the possible the eruption of violence between the invaders and the members of the communities being illegally occupied.
More worrying for the group was the seeming silence of the federal government, security forces and health bodies, on the matter, despite glaring evidence of the said invasions which been depicted in viral videos and pictures of several youths hidden in trailers conveying them from the North to the South and Middle Belt.
The group wondered why, in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19, war the political and health authorities were noncommittal over such a serious security cum health matter. They warned that they might be forced to resort to self-help if nothing concrete was immediately done to reassure the citizens of these regions of their safety as Nigerians.
The SMBLF’s position was expressed through a statement jointly signed by Chief E K Clark, on behalf of PANDEF, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, for the Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, for Ohaneze Indigbo and Dr Bitrus Pogu, for the Middle- Belt Forum.