By Ruth Oginyi
Ebonyi state Governor, David Umahi has accused security agents controlling the State boarders of collecting bribe from travellers from other parts of the country to gain access into the state, amidst government lockdown order.
An angry governor Umahi has urged security chiefs in the state to prevail on their officers and men to refrain from collecting bribe along the borders to cross people into the state, insisting that no traveler should come into Ebonyi to prevent Coronavirus spread in the State.
Reports has it that motorists and travelers have continued to flout the Government ban on movement into the State through borders by offering bribe to security agents who allow them into the State. Some of the travellers gain entrance into the state at night after settling security men.
Correspondent gathered that because of the nonchalant attitude of the security men, some council chairmen such as Afikpo South Local Government Area, deployed youths in Edda to control the boarder since they can no longer trust the security men Manning the borders.
To this end, Governor Umahi during a radio broadcast in Abakaliki Wednesday on the Covid-19 pandemic threatened to hold security agents responsible if the State record any outbreak of coronavirus should they continue to allow their men to collect bribe and allow travelers into the State.
The Governor who expressed his heartfelt over the alleged bribery at the state borders, said he was shocked that such corrupt practices could be happening at the borders when they should be total compliance to the ban on movement of persons from outside into the state through the borders.
His words,“we have noticed quite a lot of sabotage from our security people and I am very shocked that in a situation like this that bribery and corruption could still thrive among our security people. I have security reports from this; I have a report from the local government Chairmen, I have a report from individuals.
“We are going to talk about this during our security people but I want to let the service Chiefs know that should we have any case arising from this, they will be held very much responsible especially if the case is coming from the pandemic states. So, it is important that they know what we are into.
“I will not let go, I will hold all the security Chiefs totally and firmly responsible for any pandemic that will come. So, it is important that you warn your men and discipline including dismissal within your policy and powers to teach them some lessons.
“Some people go as far as going to drivers of buses, they will drive the buses across the border, collect bribe and pass them. Some people go far back as using trucks to ferry people across. It is shocking and disgracing that a situation like this that we cannot think twice and know the dangers of having just one case in Ebonyi state”.
The Governor used the broadcast and directed that Apirl salaries for public and civil servants in the state be paid immediately and urged the workers to use the salaries and start stockpiling foods in case the lockdown as a result of the pandemic continues.
“To further assist our people to prepare and prepare very well, I have directed all the 13 local government Chairmen, the Commissioner for local government, the Accountant-General to immediately today seek overdraft from today and pay salaries and allowances for the month of April for all the public and civil servants and I ask them to buy foods, buy and store foods in case there is a need for a total lockdown. This is why we are seeking for a loan to pay you for the month of April”.