Presidency cautions security agents, says nobody should be hurt

THE Presidential Task Force on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic has appealed to security agencies to handle the task of enforcing the movement restrictions with tact and caution.

Chairman of the task force and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, who made the appeal during the daily press briefing in Abuja, also appealed to all Nigerians to be law-abiding and self-restraining while the period of circumspection lasts.

The SGF’s appeal came on the heel of reports of the alleged use of brute force on citizens in different parts of the country by security agents deployed to enforce the observance of some of the measures recently introduced by the Federal Government to manage the spread of the pandemic in the country.

Mustapha appealed to those in the business of retailing and sales of essential commodities, especially food items, not to see the emergency situation as an opportunity to take advantage of the populace, by hiking prices of their goods.

He called on all citizens to see the current situation as a threat to, not just the human race, but a particular threat to the Nigerian economy and national security, hence the need for all citizens to play their part by remaining understanding with government in all steps being taken and obeying all instructions.

“The Federal Government has ramped up its synergy with the state governments through video-conferencing communication and the platform of the Governors’ Forum.  By these measures, a lot of gaps are being closed for uniformity of purpose.

“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 at any time in our national life.

“To the Nigerian traders and business men 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.  This is the best time to be considerate and to show empathy for our fellow Nigerians.

“I am pleased to inform Nigerians that we made progress in the mobilization of resources to re-enforce our preparedness and other 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 ravaging disease.

“The role of the Non-Governmental Organisations and Civil Society Organisations in this battle is also well recognized. I however urge them to deploy their resources, especially community-based manpower to shore up the arrangements by the sub-national entities,” Mustapha said.

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