CLO condemns mass movement of people across States in Nigeria

2 years ago | 37

THE Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, has condemned the mass movement of people, especially those who are suspected to be infected by the globally recognized deadly coronavirus disease also known as COVID-19 pandemic. The CLO, in a statement issued on Monday, May 11, noted that there has been mass movement of persons in their droves across the country despite the inter-state lockdown executive order invoked by President Muhammad Buhari and others enacted by different state governors which are still an active force. It cited reports by the mass media that some state governments in the Northern parts of Nigeria have been returning indigent citizens residents in their states to their states of origin whereas other large numbers of people are being moved down in lorries to the Southern parts of Nigeria from certain Northern states. "CLO condemns this brazen abuse of the executive orders passed by Mr. President and governors in Nigeria by some lawless and disobedient Nigerians, " it said. The statement signed by Ibuchukwu Ezike, executive director of CLO and made available to Realnews said:  "This flagrant violation of the COVID-19 pandemic Orders banning inter-state movement of people and goods in the country is an invitation to uncontrollable spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic across Nigeria and, therefore, makes nonsense, the energies, time and huge resources being sunk into the campaign against coronavirus in Nigeria, the massive hardship, suffering and imprisonment of Nigerians for months notwithstanding." According to him, "While we see the criminal evacuation of these unsuspecting, peasants from their states of residence to their states of origin as a gross human rights violation, we hold the state governors and security agents who allow the passage of these persons into their states to aggravate COVID-19 threats in those states accountable. "We note with dismay that when it is for the interest of these host states, they would retain these poor and unprotected citizens as their own citizens, especially during the national Census to boost their populations, drawing of more funds from the national purse and increases in their local revenue, and during national elections to win more votes. "But regrettably, they are now repatriating them to their states of origin in times of emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic. We make bold to say that Nigerians in foreign nations some of who are  infected by COVID-19 disease have not been deported to Nigeria. "Moreover, national centres have been established in various States of Nigeria where patients of coronavirus disease could be quarantined for treatment till they are well. Instead of taking these Nigerians to these centres, some state governments are transporting them from one state and region to others and helping to escalate the dangers and spread of this disease. "Government and its agencies allowing this lawlessness to persist is assisting  to support some persons who argue that COVID-19 is a fraud and concoction meant to deceive the citizens and an invitation to plunder the Treasury." The CL urged "the National Human Rights Commission to wake up to its responsibility by intervening in this serious matter by investigating and prosecuting any Nigerians whether as an individual or working for the state or any government or its agencies who are involved in this criminal, wicked and lawless act while the security agencies including state security institutions such the Neighborhood Watch, Forest Guards and Amotekun etc should brace up to the challenges by ensuring that no person or group of persons not authorised by law are allowed into their states from other states throughout the duration of inter state lockdown Orders." Also, it urged the citizens to stand up in defence of themselves and their states by collaborating with their state governments, security agents and the state and federal government committees and Task forces working in support of the anti COVID-19 Campaigns in Nigeria. It added that the commission should  "ensure that no illegal persons or goods enter their states until the lockdown orders are lifted. However, we call for full compliance with the laws in order to ensure that human rights are not infracted upon. Recall that any positive step we take brings us nearer to freedom." – May 12, 2020 @ 10:45 GMT |

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