Palpable fear enveloped the ever serene ancient city of Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State, on Friday when three trailer-loads of youths from the northern part of Nigeria berthed at the Iyana-Agbala area of the metropolis amidst fear of an upsurge in community transmission of the dreaded coronavirus pandemic, World Street Journal can report.
According to an eye witness account, the Hausa youths numbering about 200 were discharged at the outskirt of the city to the consternation of the indigenes who wondered how the youths found their way in the southwestern part of the country in spite of the inter-state restriction of vehicular movements across the country.
It was gathered that it took the timely intervention of the police personnel at the Gbagi police station to abort what could have led to a breakdown of law and order as the local youths in the area mobilized themselves to resist what they described as unwanted visitors.
One of the youths leaders in Alakia area of the city simply identified as Muyideen, told our reporter that the ”unwanted visitors” should not be allowed to stay in Ibadan or any part of Oyo State. He explained that government should take interest in the matter as a matter of urgency in order to disabuse the mind of people like him who believed that youths from th northern parts of Nigeria were being overindulged by the federal government at the expense of youths from other parts of the country.
”My brother how did these guys manage to travel from Zamfara or Kano to Ibadan when lock-down is in place in Kogi, FCT, and Kaduna?, he asked rhetorically.
Yoruba social-cultural group, Afenifere, has backed a move by Osun State to deport some Northern youth from Zamfara State, who sneaked into Osun despite the lockdown.
Mr Yinka Odumakin, Secretary-General of Afenifere, in an interview with SaharaReporters, said the state was right to take the action considering the ongoing battle with Coronavirus.
He stated that some Northern states were also deporting youths back to their original states within the region.
The Osun State Government had raised the alarm over the influx of youths, mostly from Zamfara in recent days.
The Northern youth gained entrance into Osun State by hiding in trucks conveying essential goods.
Special Adviser to Zamfara governor on Public Enlightenment, Media and Communications, Zailani Bappa, condemned the deportation, claiming that the Zamfara youth were Nigerian citizens, who could reside in any state in the country.
Odunmakin however, said there was nothing wrong with the deportation.
He said, “If there are people who are hindrances in Osun State, I do not think that they need to do profiling before they take necessary action, especially in this period that we are.
“Even all over the North, youths who are roaming about aimlessly are being round-up and taken back to their states of origin within the North and all the states that have done such thing did not announce their decision.”
He said the move should not generate friction between the two states, adding that Zamfara State Government would deport anybody making suspicious movement in its state.
He said, “I am sure that the governor of Zamfara, if he finds strange youth in the state at this stage that we are would take necessary actions that need to be taken. He would not be announcing that he wants to take any youth out of the state.
“It’s not a matter of states fighting; it’s just a fact that when you find strange people who are not members of the community, or communities members who return, you have to be inquisitive.”