By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
A Human Rights and Peace advocate, Comrade Mulade Sheriff, has appealed to the Police hierarchy to respect the fundamental rights of Nigerians and other nationals in the enforcement of lockdown, closure and restriction of movements across the nation.
In a statement, Sheriff urged the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammad Adamu, AIGs and Commissioners of police in various states of the federation to caution and charge officers of the police force to adhere strictly to the fundamental rights of Nigerians as enshrined in the constitution while enforcing compliance.
Comrade Sheriff, who is also the National Coordinator, Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, expressed concerns and worries over the way and manners some police officers charged with the responsibility of protecting lives and property are now the ones vandalizing items that they are expected to protect, noting that Nigerians are going through sudden and unexpected trauma which needs encouragement and polite engagement.
He stated that the law enforcement agents and the entire populace are victims of this difficult time, therefore the Nigeria police and other security agencies saddled with the responsibility of enforcing adherence to orders should exercise caution so as not to inflict pains and more hardship which will exasperate the already harsh and tense situation in the country.
He charged the Nigeria Media, the Federal and State governments to continue to educate the people with relevant information on why they should continue to obey restriction orders from the government.
He said that the law enforcement agents should equally understand that a larger population of the people are semi-literates and illiterates, and therefore communities may find it difficult to comprehend properly the COVID-19 virus and the dangers it poses to the entire nation.
He further noted that there would be resistance from the people on the various restrictions and lockdown orders due to lack of understanding but as the days go by it will need the efforts of all enlightened minds to educate and put the public in the right position to abide by the laws from government which will assist in our collective fight of COVID-19 virus that has become a global pandemic.