In an interview with Daily Trust, the Sarkin Hausawa of Sasa market in Ondo State, Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu Abdullahi, expressed the disappointment of the Arewa community on the way and manner their members are being treated by Amotekun.
He decried the tagging of the northern travellers as ‘illegal migrants’ and ‘invaders’ even though they are Nigerians who are coming from various states in the North to different parts of the South for legitimate businesses.
Abdullahi said, “We are not happy with the way and manner Amotekun and the media tag us in bad light. These people coming to the South West from the North are mainly labourers and those doing petty businesses as manicurists, hawking sugarcane, among others. As leaders of the Arewa Community, we informed the commander of Amotekun that these people are not criminals but no one is listening to us.
“Many of the northern youths are being kept in the correctional centres in Ondo State, while some are held as captives by Amotekun, and nobody cares. Even our leaders in government in the North don’t care about the situation, we have governors and senators who can easily contact their colleagues here but they will not.”
He, however, said that the DSS often time release those found not culpable of any wrongdoing among the arrested northern travellers.
“So, Nigerians can no longer travel within Nigeria to make ends meet? Just as we have northerners coming to the South to seek for greener pastures, we also have southerners who travel to the North seeking greener pasture and they are doing well over there without harassment or intimidation, why is it different here,” he asked.
Recall that Amotekun recently intercepted 147 passengers on a truck in the Bodija area of Ibadan, Oyo State.
The travellers, who were coming from Kaura Namoda, Zamfara State were handed to security agents for screening and documentation.
However, police said the travellers were predominantly farmers and traders debunking speculations that the truck was loaded with terrorists.
Police spokesman, Adewale Osifeso, said in a statement that the truck and its passengers were later escorted out of the state and handed over to Ogun security personnel.