Covid-19: Foundation calls attention to safety guidelines, human rights abuses

Covid-19: Foundation calls attention to safety guidelines, human rights abuses

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 2:05 pm


Richard Elesho/ Lokoja

A Not for Proft Organisation, Centre for Law Enforcement and Education in Nigeria, CLEEN Foundation has raised the alarm on human rights violations by security agencies in the course of enforcing Covid-19 guidelines and called on Nigerians to obey the physical distancing guideline and other established protocols put in place to curb the spread of the virus in the country.

The organisation in a statement by its Executive Director, Benson Olugbuo, on Tuesday asked for provision of adequate testing centers in every senatorial district across the country.

The organization further noted that there was poor enforcement of government directives on citizens in different parts of the country and extortion by security personnel on citizens for failing to use face masks.

The statement added, “CLEEN Foundation continues to adopt a triangulation approach involving the collection of primary data by our 37 states and FCT coordinators and volunteers in the 774 LGAs who are tracking COVID-19 developments across the states and through reliable secondary sources of information.

“CLEEN Foundation has received a total of 2,606 reports across the 774 LGAs in the six geopolitical zones and these are disaggregated as follows: 1,500 reports on citizens’ compliance to government directives; 765 reports on conduct of security personnel enforcing government directives; 341 reports on human rights violations by security personnel enforcing government directives on COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our observers have recorded a total number of 36 deaths since the restriction of movement started in the country. On 20th May 2020, one Fatai Oladipupo was killed by a stray bullet along Obabiyi, Igando Road, Ikotun, Lagos by some police officers attached to the Ikotun Police Station who were attempting to enforce the 8:00pm curfew in the area.

“An elderly foodstuff seller was flogged to death by some military personnel in Nasarawa LGA of Nasarawa State in a bid to enforce the lockdown order. In Anambra State, the partial compliance of citizens to the imposed directive led to the death of a young man who was shot by the Police for flouting the curfew order. The incident happened at Enugwu-Ukwu in Njikoka LGA of Anambra State on Wednesday May 20, 2020. Our observer from Ngor Okpala LGA in Imo State reported an incidence of extra judicial killings by security personnel.”

The group said Citizens’ enlightenment and awareness campaign on the proper use of facemasks should be intensified by the various state governments.

“Effective oversight on security personnel implementing the border control measures. Furthermore, erring officers found guilty of extorting citizens and violating human rights should be disciplined appropriately to serve as deterrent to other officers.

“The state governments need to properly assess the COVID-19 situation in their states with regards to the proprietary or otherwise on the lifting of the ban on public gatherings.”

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