COVID-19: Akinlade demands checks on porous Ogun international borders

A governorship candidate in the 2019 general election in Ogun State and an All Progressive Congress (APC) chieftain in the state, Honourable Abdulkabir Adekunle Akinlade, has drawn the attention of the Federal and Ogun state governments to the porous nature of the international borders in Ogun state.

Akinlade, in a statement made available to Tribune Online on Tuesday, described the borders as potential windows to the importation and spread of coronavirus within local communities.

Ogun state shares many borders with the Benin Republic, with countless illegal routes across four local governments in Yewa.

He recalled how some Togo returnees were accosted at the Imeko-Afon border, with three of them testing positive for Coronavirus.

Akinlade expressed concerns that the porosity of borders in Ogun state is a bigger danger that is being ignored or overlooked by the state government.

“It is a known fact that majority of Nigerians from border communities live and trade in neighbouring countries like the Benin Republic, Niger, among others.

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“They cross between those states with ease thus with the global economic meltdown, occasioned by COVID-19, many Nigerians are returning home in their hundreds through those unmanned routes.

“With the uncontrollable rate at which COVID-19 is spreading, many of those returnees may have been infected, thus exposing local communities to the virus through community infections. The challenge is that we can not stop them from returning home.

“However, with a well-structured indigenous public awareness campaign, we may be able to get those returning to voluntarily submit themselves for screening and test.

“This can further be done by domesticating the entire care process and setting up isolation centres in each of those Local Governments.

“It is important that we deploy considerable resources to manage this window because governments, both at state and national levels are struggling to cope as it is.

“This approach will not only enhance efforts made so far, but it will also reduce a possible second wave of the pandemic in the nation.” He concluded.

 

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