The Task Force Committee on free movement of agricultural produce and inputs in Sokoto state has warned drivers of trucks conveying food items against ferrying passengers into the state.
The Chairman of the committee, who is also the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Ibrahim Kaoje, gave the warning when he led members of the committee to monitor movement of food items into the state, on Thursday.
A statement by ASP Muhammad Sadiq, the Police Public Relation Officer, said the committee visited Bimasa area, the boundary between Sokoto and Zamfara states.
Kaoje said that only essential commodities, especially food items and agricultural inputs, were exempted from the restriction imposed on free movement across the country.
“The exception was to ensure availability of food items in all the nooks and crannies of the country, particularly in this pandemic period.
“However, this freedom was not extended to passengers, thus, any truck caught conveying passengers would be impounded and the driver arrested and prosecuted accordingly,” he said.
Kaoje explained that the committee was formed based on the directive of the Inspector General of Police.
“Our work is to ensure free movement of food items and agricultural inputs. This is to ensure nobody die of hunger as a result of the measures taken to curtail the spread of Coviid-19 in the country,” he said.
Other members of the committee were representatives of NARTO, NUJ, NURTW, state and federal Ministries of Agriculture as well as the chairman, Sokoto State Taskforce on COVID-19 and Commissioner of Health.
In his remarks, the state Commissioner of Agriculture, Alhaji Arzika Tureta, said the formation of the committee was apt, especially as the raining season was fast approaching.
“It will facilitate free movement of farm produce and the inputs required by farmers for the planting season,” he said
Also speaking, the Commissioner of Health, Dr Ali Inname, said the state government has donated 20 motorcycles to security agencies to enable them block all the illegal routes used by travellers.