COVID-19: Why security agencies must enforce ban on interstate travels – Lawan
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has emphasized the need for security agencies to ensure a total enforcement of the Federal Government’s ban on interstate travels to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus disease.
Lawan made the call in his remarks sequel to the consideration of a motion on the “Need to enforce Presidential Order banning Interstate Movement”, sponsored by Senator Ike Ekweremadu (PDP- Enugu West).
“There is need for total enforcement on the ban on interstate travels. Apparently, there is so much breach, and it appears like our security agencies who are supposed to enforce this, in most cases appear to look helpless. They need to sit up,” Lawan said.
“This is a very serious health challenge to our country, but beyond interstate, even the observance of social distancing, hygiene and other protocols sometimes suffer inside the states.
“I think it is very important that citizens do this because it is for our sake. Government cannot be without citizens, and it is important at this point that we do this for our sake and that of our family members,” the Senate President appealed.
Earlier, sponsor of the motion, Senator Ike Ekweremadu (PDP – Ekweremadu, lamented the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, which according to him, stands at 4,641 cases and 150 deaths.
The lawmaker raised alarm that confirmed daily cases of the novel disease by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) are now in hundreds.
He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari while relying on advisories by relevant authorities and powers conferred on him by Section 3 of the Quarantine Act, CAP Q2 Laws of the Federation 2004, issued the proclamation order for the ban on non-essential interstate passenger travels until further notice.
According to him, “the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has raised alarm over what it described as increased level of interstate movement, worsened by the dubious concealment of people in food-carrying vehicles.”
He added that, “the Nigeria Governors’ Forum has equally raised serious concerns over the way Nigerians crisscross the country in their numbers despite the subsisting order to the contrary.”
Ekweremadu stressed that in view of the brazen breach of the presidential order, “the nation’s security agencies, particularly the police, have the responsibility to enforce law and order, including the presidential ban on interstate movement.”
Accordingly, the Senate in its resolutions called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, the Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and heads of all security agencies charged with enforcing the ban on interstate travel to investigate the alleged complicity of their officers in the breach of the curfew and ban on interstate travels and bring to book anyone found wanting.
The upper chamber also called on the Inspector-General of Police and the Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to fully enforce presidential orders on curfew and ban on non-essential interstate travel as well as ensure that their various commands cooperate with respective State authorities in enforcing the presidential orders and other protocols aimed at rolling back the COVID-19 pandemic.