Unhealthy violation of the lockdown by young men from the north
Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU) Press Release
It has come to our attention that in the last few weeks several trucks disguised as carrying goods have been smuggling able bodied young men Into the south south and the south east in-spite of the lockdown and ban on inter-state travel. With the rising cases of Corona infection In the North, this is very troubling.
Equally troubling is the youthful age of those arriving and the question on their means of livelihood upon arrival given their large numbers as well as the purpose of their arrival. Overall it beats the imagination to understand how they escaped all the check points from the north all the way down to the south. Some are seen not to even be Nigerians but from Niger republic!
With the Corona virus pandemic, the Intelligent and healthy thing to do is for everyone to remain where they are — especially when the areas involved have higher rates of infection. When Wuhan in China was heavily infected, it was essentially quarantined from the rest of China.
When one of the states in the US was becoming heavily infected, it was considered that the state should be quarantined. In Nigeria, inter-state travel has been banned in order to contain the spread.
This stream of able bodied young men, mysteriously able to evade all checkpoints, must end Immediately as it can only lead to a breakdown of law and order with all the conspiracy theories around this strange movement.
For the security forces to allow such large movement of people from the North to the south is indeed a worrisome development and indicates that they are overwhelmed and lack the capacity to protect the South and South East from this health and security crisis.
Self-preservation is the first law of nature. We cannot fold our hands and watch a crisis grow. Therefore:
1. We call on all communities in Igbo land to volunteer people to work with the police force as Civilian Joint Task forces to prevent violation of the lockdown. We call on the governors to exempt these people from the lockdown as they will be essential service providers.
2. We call on all communities in Igbo land to be vigil ani and resist any violation of the lockdown by stopping such violations and alerting the police to them. Self-preservation is the first law of nature. The Corona virus is real and we must do all we can to protect ourselves from it. This Includes assisting the security forces when they are overwhelmed.
3. We call on all Igbo men and women, all Igbo communities and community neighborhood watches to be extra vigilant and alert your Traditional ruler/President General immediately of any security threats or strange occurrences. All Traditional rulers/President Generals must equally inform the DPOs and the Local government chairmen immediately.
4. We call on the Inspector general of police and the AIGs in charge of the northern zones to sit-up and stop this illegal and unexpected flow as it can only lead to very negative consequences. We call on them to work with Civilian Joint Task forces in order to be more effective in enforcing the lockdown.
5. We call on the Sultan of Sokoto and the chairman of the Nigerian governors forum as well as the governors of the 19 northern states to immediately put an end to this stream of numerous able bodied young men violating the lockdown and often entering bushes to escape arrest.
6. We hereby inform anyone living in the bushes in Igboland to leave immediately as they constitute a security risk. It is very difficult to follow up with people living in the bush. Everyone in Igbo land must have a known address with contact details. People come from the bushes commit crimes and dash back there. Anyone that wishes to reside in Igoo land must rent or buy an apartment, vacate our bushes and forests immediately.
Chief Emeka Diwe
Chief Gideon Adikwuru
Chief G. U. Mgborukwe,
President, Abia state Town Unions
Chief Monday Ikokwu
President, Imo State Town Unions
Barrister Paully Eze
President, Enugu Siale Town Unions
Chief Jimmie Asoegwu
Anambra State ASETU Coordinator
Chief Ugochukwu Akpa
President, Ebonyi State Town Unions