Officials in Plateau State might soon build barricades at all entry points to guard against illegal entry.
There has been persistent trespass into the State, despite a general lockdown, with tens of travelers from high risk coronavirus States arrested.
On Wednesday, 11 travelers said to be from Lagos were arrested along Kaduna-Jos North road. Same day and on same route, about 20 Kaduna-Bauchi bound cargo trucks were intercepted, and even released on claims of carrying food supplies.
Eatlier on Tuesday, about 48 people thought to be from Lagos were arrested in Shendam after sneaking into the State from Nasarawa.
A security source reports that the Lafiya-Shendam road witnesses daily influx of travelers, most of whom often escape arrest. Daily Trust on Wednesday reported that five arrested travelers in Lafiya had escaped into Plateau through Shendam.
Same illegal entries have been reported in Kanam where there are about 13 entry points, linking Bauchi and other Northeastern States.
Such routes and trespassing also occur in Kanke, Mangu, Bokkos, Barkin Ladi, Bassa, Shendam, Wase, Langtang South, Jos North, Jos East, Jos South and Barkin Ladi, it is gathered.
Trespassers aware of the tightened security, CCTV surveillance included at Riyom, the main entry point to the State have resorted to these mostly unguarded border roads.
Officials have contemplated multiple checkpoints at all border points but are constrained by inadequate manpower. Securities placed at the borders have also allegedly compromised, allowing entry mostly at nights, often for a fee.
Barricading the borders, the State Commissioner of Information, Dan Manjang, Tuesday said might be an option to consider. The border locks coming at the time Governors nationwide are considering interstate travels might require less manpower.
Until normalcy returns, the barricades would be locked and only trusted officials would be handed the keys, it is learnt.
“What it means is that we would be closing our doors from evening with something like padlocks and to be re-opened in the morning. The policy would be focused on who has the key to the doors and who has the right to open the doors,” said the State Director General, Information and Communication Development Agency, David Daser.
This might not entirely solve illegal entry but might reduce it drastically. The problem however would be, how many people would have sneaked in before the barricades are set up. After all, citizens leveraging the exemption of farmers from the soon to end lockdown in the State have moved freely in the rural areas, often disguised as farmers.
This makes the State highly vulnerable to the disease, even though no case has been confirmed yet.