Continued Lockdown Without Genuine, Verifiable Adequate Provisions for All Nigerians is Death Sentence Verdict – CLO

The proposed extension of the anti-Coronavirus Lockdown nationwide by the federal government without genuine and verifiable adequate provision of foodstuffs etc for all Nigerians will be equalled to passing a death sentence verdict on the citizens.

CLO learnt that the federal government, in collaboration with the state governments, has resolved to extend the two week lockdown across Nigeria.

Only on Wednesday, the Presidential TaskForce on COVID -19 raised an alarm that the federal government under the rulership of President Muhammad Buhari will impose a total lockdown on the entire country by this weekend.

Dr. Aliyu, Chairman of the TaskForce, who announced this, said the essence of the alarm was to advise Nigerians to immediately make adequate arrangements for their families.

Dr Aliyu who informed that Nigeria was going to experience turbulent times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, also accused the government of failure to take proactive measures from the onset to attack COVID-19 on time, adding that government was now ready barely three months the terror disease started to put adequate coordinated actions to address the coronavirus scourge in Nigeria.

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CLO is not against the extension of lockdown on the country in her fight to contain the coronavirus pandemic but we are totally against doing so without putting adequate mechanisms on the ground that would cushion the killer effects of the lockdown.

“It will be needless extending the imprisonment of Nigerians if enough foodstuffs, money and other essential household goods will not be provided for all Nigerians who are in need.

“We have witnessed a complete corrupt dispensing of insufficient palliatives provided by government in the last four weeks as well as gross mismanagement of money and foodstuffs donated by patriotic Nigerians and organisations who, till date, has not been probed by the government despite public outcries across Nigeria.

CLO will, therefore, view government’s intransigence in extending the lockdown without fulfilling these credible conditions and providing organised security protection for the people as passing death sentence verdict on Nigerians.

“The last four weeks have been characterised by hunger, armed robbery attacks, invasion of homes at night and raping of women.

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“We make bold to say that there will be no difference between keeping Nigerians at home without adequate security protection and enough food and letting them to be attacked by coronavirus.

“Various countries of the world which are imposing lockdown on their societies also make good provisions for their citizens.

“For instance, in Qatar, special hotline numbers are provided for citizens who are in need to contact agencies responsible for handling the amenities to them.

“Also, South Africa has approved the payment of 350 Rands to adults and 750 Rands to children for the period the lockdown will last in their country.

“In Finland, not only that adequate palliatives are provided, they do not make public the statistics of those affected, discharged and who have passed on. We can go on.

“We note with certainty that Coronavirus like any other epidemic virus diseases that had existed in the past will come and go and Nigerians will still live”, the civil rights body noted.

The CLO condemned the way and manner the government is handling the coronavirus pandemic, especially with respect to locking the citizens at home like the Trans-Atlantic slaves without addressing their socio-economic needs.

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“Locking the people at home is not the only solution. We are not aware of any efforts by the government to fund serious research on the COVID-19 as other nations of the world are doing or making provisions to test people on the way as it is done in some countries, for instance, China. People move freely in China today, even in Wuham, where the pandemic started.

“Lastly, we urge transparency in the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, including adequate welfare for the citizens”, the CLO added.

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