Truck drivers spend 8 days at Rivers boundaries


* Traders die in Imo Rivers to escape security agents

By Codratus Godson

Hordes of drivers and truckers have masses at boundaries of Rivers State begging to enter. They said they are carrying food and fish that may soon go bad.


Tens of trucks have remained at the boundary between Port Harcourt in Rivers State and Abia State after the Imo River Bridge for the seventh day. Hordes of drivers have continued to wail at the location, saying they are hungry. This is as about five traders attempting to cross the river by boats at night were said to have drowned when youths and security operatives allegedly chased them.

Newsmen who went to Abia section today, Thursday, April 2, 2020, the seventh day of the order by Gov Nyesom Wike for boundaries to be closed, found that trucks have continued to line up to a distant point.

The rain was pelting when newsmen got there but some of the truckers, looking frail, said they are starving. Few others said they have piled up thousands of naira debt from women selling food.

One said: “I have not taken any bath for days. We do not have a place to go to toilet.” They said they did not know how to even turn and go back because the place is jam-packed and the road home is blocked.

Another one said he was carrying fish and they are getting bad; “If this truckload of fish gets rotten, this place will explode oh. The odour will drive everybody away.”

This is the same story at Mbiama, the Rivers-Bayelsa boundary, where many trucks have also remained on the road.

Many of the truckers and motorists claimed they did not hear that Rivers State ordered a shutdown of the boundaries.

Rivers State ordered the closure of boundaries since Thursday last week (March 26, 2020). This caused huge human crisis but many persons managed to cross by allegedly given some tips to security agents. The tips seemed to get to the ears of the state governor who frowned at the development, after which, the roads tightened up. Some persons have however argued that food deliveries are not affected by the shutdown and curfew. Sources however said goods are still crossing through the river at night after the Saturday March 28, 2020 tragic incident.

The Lagos State police command said on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, that they went to the boundaries to resolve such build-up and allowed people to pass after screening.