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COVID-19 LOCK-DOWN: IGP warns officers against trampling on citizen’s rights

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Dedeigbo Ayodeji

The Inspector General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni on Thursday cautioned officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force currently deployed for the enforcement of the lockdown and social restriction orders to ensure that the rights of Nigerians are not infringed upon under any pretext, adding that persons on essential duties, duly exempted from the restriction orders, should be accorded due courtesies and unfettered access to and fro their places of duty.

The IGP, while speaking with BlackboxNigeria, noted that the global community is now in an extra-ordinary time, with the lockdown taking its tolls on every component of our natural life.

“All police officers deployed for the enforcement of these restriction order must be professional, humane and tactful and must show utmost respect to the citizenry. I have directed Command Commissioners of Police to immediately commence monitoring of Police Officers deployed on enforcement duties in their areas of responsibilities.

“I have equally charged Zonal Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs) across the nation to ensure adequate supervision of personnel under their watch, as well as due compliance with the Standard Operating Procedure guiding this special task.
“The AIGs and CPs are also to ensure robust anti-crime patrols and surveillance around vulnerable targets such as medical facilities, shops and markets, residential areas, financial institutions and Automated Teller Machines (ATM) points, amongst others so that criminals do not take undue advantage of the current COVID-19 challenge to perpetrate crimes against the citizenry.

“Meanwhile, I want to express my profound gratitude to Nigerians for their resilience and voluntary compliance with the social restriction orders and cooperation with the Police at all times. I urge citizens to continue to observe all precautionary measures issued by relevant health authorities in order for the nation to defeat this pandemic.” The IGP said.

Blackboxnigeria earlier reported that President Muhammadu Buhari, on Sunday 29, March, ordered the lockdown of Abuja, Lagos and Ogun state as a measure to curb the novel COVID-19 pandemic across the country.

“Fellow Nigerians,

“From the first signs that Coronavirus, or COVID-19 was turning into an epidemic and was officially declared a world-wide emergency, the Federal Government started planning preventive, containment and curative measures in the event the disease hits Nigeria.

“As we are all aware, Lagos and Abuja have the majority of confirmed cases in Nigeria. Our focus therefore remains to urgently and drastically contain these cases, and to support other states and regions in the best way we can.

“Based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday, 30th March 2020. This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two States.

“All citizens in these areas are to stay in their homes. Travel to or from other states should be postponed. All businesses and offices within these locations should be fully closed during this period.

“The Governors of Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Minister of the FCT have been notified. Furthermore, heads of security and intelligence agencies have also been briefed.

“We will use this containment period to identify, trace and isolate all individuals that have come into contact with confirmed cases. We will ensure the treatment of confirmed cases while restricting further spread to other States.

“This order does not apply to hospitals and all related medical establishments as well as organizations in health care related manufacturing and distribution.

“Furthermore, commercial establishments such as; –food processing, distribution and retail companies; –petroleum distribution and retail entities, –power generation, transmission and distribution companies; and –private security companies are also exempted.

“Although these establishments are exempted, access will be restricted and monitored.

“Workers in telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print and electronic media staff who can prove they are unable to work from home are also exempted.

“All seaports in Lagos shall remain operational in accordance with the guidelines I issued earlier. Vehicles and drivers conveying essential cargoes from these Ports to other parts of the country will be screened thoroughly before departure by the Ports Health Authority.

“Furthermore, all vehicles conveying food and other essential humanitarian items into these locations from other parts of the country will also be screened thoroughly before they are allowed to enter these restricted areas.” The President said.

Subsequently, Blackboxnigeria, reported that The Federal Government, after reviewing the imposed lock-down on Abuja, Lagos and Ogun state has issued new guidelines.

The government, in the new guidelines issued on Wednesday, stated that markets selling food items would open from 10am to 2pm every other day, as supermarkets and pharmacies are to open from 10am-4pm every day.

While reiterating the need for a high-level hygiene in the market places and supermarkets, the federal government said the new guidelines also ban bus services during the lock-down, adding that a mass gathering of more than 20 people is not allowed.

 

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