Alarmed that confirmed daily cases of COVID-19 by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is now in hundreds; the Nigerian Senate, on Tuesday, has condemned in strongest terms the barefaced breach of the presidential order on interstate movements.
The Senate directed the Inspector-Genral of Police, and Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to fully enforce presidential orders on curfew and ban on non-essential interstate travel. The red chamber enjoined Nigerians to strictly comply with these orders for their own safety and to quicken the nation’s victory over the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a motion titled “Need to enforce Presidential Order banning interstate movement” by Senator Ike Ekweremadu of Enugu West senatorial district, the former deputy senate president said the motion is in response to an alarm raised by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 that there is increase level of Inter-state movements, worsened by the dubious concealment of people in food-carrying vehicles”
Ekweremadu said the nation’s security agencies, particularly the police, have the responsibility to enforce law and order, including the presidential ban on interstate movement. The senator is worried about reports of alleged complicity in the said breaches by those who are supposed to enforce compliance with the directives of the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces.
Senator Sabi Abdullahi in his contribution said the bill is very timely because the issue of Coronavirus is not being given the seriousness it deserves by some. He said while some states are doing their best, some states are not serious at all. He called for appeal to all Nigerians to take the matter seriously because corona virus is already with us and is spreading fast through community transmission.
Senator Stella Oduah on her part said the motion is a very wonderful one and asked that all law enforcement agencies strengthen their border patrol exercise to check the movement of people. She said may be the senate should write to the Inspector General of Police to inform him of the standing law restricting movement if he is not already aware.
In his remarks, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said there is the need for the total enforcement on the ban on interstate travels as it is a serious matter.
He said beyond the ban however is the need to also ensure hygiene and other measures to prevent the spread of Covid19.