By Kingsley Okoye
The Senate on Tuesday at plenary condemned in strongest terms the “barefaced breach” of the presidential order on interstate movements to curb further spread of Coronavirus in Nigeria.
Senate resolution was hinged on a motion on the “Need to Enforce Presidential Order Banning Interstate Movements.”
The motion was sponsored by Sen. Ike Ekweremadu (PDP-Enugu).
Ekweremadu in his lead debate said there was an alarm at the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
He said reports indicates currently that COVID-19 infection stood at 4,641 cases and 150 deaths.
Ekweremadu said confirmed daily cases of COVID-19 by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC) was now in hundreds.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari, in his wisdom and relying on advice by relevant authorities and powers conferred on him by Section 3 of the Quarantine Act, CAP Q2 Laws of the Federation 2004 issued proclamation order on general management of COVlD-19.
Ekweremadu said the president had banned non-essential inter-state passenger travels until further notice to contain the deadly novel Coronavirus.
“Also aware of the presidential order declaring dusk to dawn curfew all over the country.
“Seriously worried by the numerous reports and trending videos on the flagrant breach of the curfew and interstate travel.
“Aware that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has raised alarm over what it described as ‘increased level of interstate movement, worsened by the dubious concealment of people in foods carrying vehicles.
“Further aware that the Nigeria Governors’ Forum has equally raised serious concerns over the way Nigerians crisscross the country in their numbers in spite of the subsisting order to the contrary.
“Conscious of the very grave implications of the brazen breach of the presidential order restricting interstate movements.
“Conscious of the fact that the nation’s security agencies, particularly the police, have the responsibility to enforce law and order, including the presidential ban on interstate movement,” Ekweremadu said.
He expressed concern over reports of alleged complicity in the said breaches by those who are supposed to enforce compliance with the directives of the President.
Following Ekweremadu’s presentation, Senate in its other resolutions
enjoin Nigerians to strictly comply with the orders for their own safety and to quicken Nigerian’s victory over COVID-19 pandemic.
It further urged the Inspectors-General of Police, Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and Heads of all security agencies charged with enforcing the ban on interstate travel to investigate the alleged complicity of their officers in the breach of the curfew and ban non-essential interstate travels.
The Senate also called for arrest and prosecution of anyone found wanting.
It urged the Inspector-General of Police and the Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to fully enforce presidential orders on curfew and ban on nonessential interstate travel.
It urged the security chiefs to ensure that their various commands cooperate with respective state authorities in enforcing the presidential orders and other protocols aimed at curbing the COVID-19 pandemic. (NAN)