Lockdown: Buhari regrets molestation of Nigerians, says culprits will be punished

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says the reported cases of harassment and molestations of Nigerians during the lockdown occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic are regrettable, and those found guilty will be brought to justice.

The president, who made this known in a broadcast in Abuja on Monday, however, stated that security agencies would continue to rise to the challenge posed by this unusual situation.

He said: “Our Security Agencies continue to rise to the challenge posed by this unusual situation.

“While we feel deeply concerned about isolated security incidents, I want to assure all Nigerians that your safety and security remain our primary concern especially in these difficult and uncertain times.

“As we focus on protecting lives and properties, we will not tolerate any human rights abuse by our security agencies.

“The few reported incidences are regrettable, and I want to assure you that the culprits will be brought to justice.’’

The president urged all Nigerians to continue to cooperate and show understanding whenever they encounter security agents.

“Furthermore, for their protection, I have instructed that the personnel of all the security agencies be provided with the necessary personal protective equipment against infection,’’ he said.

On the reported strange disease in Kano State, the Nigerian leader said he was gravely concerned about the unfortunate developments.

He said already the federal government had decided to deploy additional manpower, material and technical resources to strengthen and support the State Government’s efforts, with immediate effect.

“In Kano, and indeed many other States that are recording new cases, preliminary findings show that such cases are mostly from interstate travel and emerging community transmission.

“Drawing from these, I implore all Nigerians to continue to adhere strictly to the advisories published by the Presidential Task Force and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

“These include regular hand washing, physical distancing, wearing of face masks/coverings in public, avoidance of non-essential movement and travels and avoidance of large gatherings,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the president had in his broadcast approved 14-day lockdown in Kano State as part of deliberate efforts to combat COVID-19 and the strange disease which has claimed over 64 lives in the past four days.