From Noah Ocheni, Lokoja
The ActionAid Nigeria, a Non Governmental Organisation, has berated the Security Agencies for their flagrant abuse of human rights of Nigerians during the ongoing lockdown in some parts of the Country.
The Organisation in a statement made available to Journalists in Lokoja on Friday noted that “although , the Federal Government has initiated some measures at containing the Covid 19 pandemic , the activities of some of her security personnel posted to enforce the lockdown fell below the local and international best practices in an emergencies.”
ActionAid Nigeria which has been working to promote social justice and equality in the country for the past 20 years decried at the spate of physical torture meted on the people in the line of performing their duties.
The statement stressed ” It is regrettable that the enforcement measure has been taken over by some unpatriotic staff and officers within the Nigeria security agencies to perpetuate severe human rights abuses on some Nigerians.”
These abuses according to the statement include “physical assault, torture, illegal seizure, extortions and incidences of sexual and gender-based violence. Furthermore, there have been cases of outright destruction of property by security agents, thus inflicting hardship and pains on the vulnerable citizens, especially women and youths.”
” It is unfortunate to note that, in some cases, such abuses have resulted in deaths. Reports, indicates, such brutalities by security operatives in places like Abia, Anambra, Delta, Kaduna, Niger, Ebonyi and Katsina states have led to an estimated 18 deaths.” the statement added.
“These unacceptable incidents are attributed to the undesired work of overzealous security agents in enforcing the lockdown” The Organisation bemoaned.
Meanwhile, the statement advise the FGN to ensure that her response to the COVID-19 pandemic contain wider and multi-dimensional perspective to ensure that women, children and the most vulnerable in the society are protected during the lockdown.
The statement also urged the Federal and State Governments to ensure adequate provision of food, water and other palliatives during the period of lockdown even as to enforce strict monitoring of the distribution of the palliative to reach all the target beneficiaries.
It assured of collaborating with the National Human Rights Commission, to investigate the numerous human rights violations being reported across the country, promising to put in place monitoring and tracking team to oversee the activities of the security personnel during the period of lockdown.