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COVID-19: CLEEN Foundation Urges Disciplinary Action Against Security Agents Violating Interstate Ban

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CLEEN Foundation has called for disciplinary action against security personnel violating government ban on inter-state movement by extorting citizens to allow movement in and out of states, thereby promoting the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) across the country.

This was contained in a statement on Tuesday by the Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation, Mr. Benson Olugbuo, decrying the complicity of security operatives who allow interstate movements despite the restrictions have resulted in the increase in infection in the affected states

Olugbuo expressed concerns that inter-state travel is still on the rise under the watch of these law enforcement agancies.
“In Edo, a trailer conveying 84 travelers from the Northern part of the country were intercepted at Irrua by the state task force, the travelers were taken to Irrua specialist hospital where three (3) of the persons tested positive for COVID-19. In Akwa Ibom state, a truckload of cattle herders was apprehended at Itu LGA (a boundary point between Akwa Ibom and Cross River state) by a Divisional Police Officer.

“Ogun Waterside LGA of Ogun state that borders Lagos and Ondo states has also remained a key entry point due to the porous nature of both the land and sea borders. This has also led to a high number of COVID-19 infected victims that has been discovered in the LGA.

“In Ekiti state, reports from border LGAs such as Ikere, Emure, Ekiti South West, Moba, Ekiti West etc indicate that security agents extort money between N200 – N5000 from travelers to allow movement in and out of the state,” the report read.

The report recommended that security institutions and their oversight agencies sustain internal and external disciplinary measures to discipline personnel who are guilty of extorting citizens and violating human rights to serve as deterrent to other officers.

The report also shows that there was a general low compliance by citizens to the precautionary guidelines by the Government and National Centre for Disease Control such as social distancing, stay-at-home order, ban on mass gatherings aimed at halting the spread of the virus.

The report found that there was low compliance to social distancing across in most commercial banks and markets.

The report further revealed that extra-Judicial Killings by Security Personnel and other State Actors led to the death of atleast 33 Nigerians since the restriction of movement started.

The report found that porous borders both on land and on water despite restrictions is leading to increased cases of new infections in border communities as we as the insufficiency of testing centers in several states of the Federation with several citizens who are qualified to be tested yet to know their actual COVID-19 status.

To address the gaps, CLEEN adviced commercial banks to set up more branches especially in urban areas with high population as this will support social distancing measures by bank customers, while religious leaders and business owners should comply fully with government’s directives on COVID19.

The foundation also recommend that government provides more testing centers in all the 36 states of the country to improve early detection, isolation, treatment and higher recovery rates.

The foundation noted that the mass movement of Almajiri children during the coronavirus pandemic exposes them to various risks and therefore called on each state government to set-up special social protection programs in their states to cater for the needs of the children pending the development of a more sustainable plan.

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