Lockdown: Don’t harm Nigerians, Buhari warns security agencies

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has urged security agencies to deploy tact while enforcing the lockdown directive in Lagos and Ogun states and the Federal Capital Territory.

This came just as the Federal Government said it was planning life insurance cover for frontline health workers who are helping to tackle the COVID-19  pandemic.

Buhari had on March 29 ordered the lockdown in the three locations for an initial period of 14 days to tackle the spread of the coronavirus in the country, while some other states have followed suit.

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, who spoke during a live briefing of the task force in Abuja on Friday, stated that reports indicated that there was a high level of compliance with the lockdown order.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said the Federal Government had ramped up its synergy with the state governments through video conferencing communication and the platform of the governors’ forum.

The SGF added, “The PTF finds it very necessary to appeal to our law enforcement agencies to deploy tact and caution in the course of enforcing the rules even in the face of provocation.

“We similarly appeal to all Nigerians to be law-abiding, exercise patience and self-restraint. The message from Mr President is that no Nigerian should, on account of these rules, suffer any harm or pains during this period or any other time in our national life.

“To the Nigerian traders and businessmen and women, we appeal for resistance to the urge to hike prices of goods and commodities during this period as our compassionate nature must prevail.”

Mustapha stated that it was the best time for citizens to be considerate and to show empathy for their fellow countrymen.

According to him, the role of the non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations in the battle against COVID-19 is well acknowledged and recognised.

“I am pleased to inform Nigerians that we made progress in the mobilisation of resources to reinforce our preparedness and implementation arrangements.

“In recognition of the danger to which our frontline health workers are exposed to, government is working with other stakeholders to structure medical and life insurance cover for their protection.

“I, therefore, wish to assure them of our commitment and urge them to put in their utmost best as they battle to save us from this raging virus,” he said.

Meanwhile, the National Coordinator in the fight against COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, has said he and other members of the Presidential Task Force will on Saturday morning meet with states to address issues arising from the lockdown.

Meanwhile, the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Kaduna State, Babangida Dustinma, on Friday, warned personnel enforcing the 24-hour curfew in the state to desist from brutalising residents.
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