The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday said that it would continue to engage Security Chiefs to deal with rising cases of human rights abuses by officers deployed by the Federal Government to enforce the guidelines on the eased lockdown.
The PTF said there was a need for security agents to be aware of the importance of respecting other people’s rights as the country continues to control the spread of the pandemic.
National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr. Aliyu Sani said this at the briefing of the task force on Monday.
This is just as the Chairman of the task force, Boss Mustapha disclosed that the PTF would engage security agents as the government vigorously pursue the enforcement of the protocols developed for the second phase of the eased lockdown.
Speaking on the reports of human rights abuses, Dr. Sani said: “We have been meeting on a weekly basis with the security chiefs. We discuss a lot of the human right issues that have been coming up. Of course, as we all know, this is not known to COVID-19 alone.
“It has been an issue that has been lingering for quite a while across different sectors and we will continue to engage the security chiefs to make them aware of the importance of respecting other people’s rights and for those that are allowed free movement to allow them to get on with their work and with their lives.”
Mustapha, who is the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, urged Nigerians to respect security officers deployed to enforce the guidelines on eased lockdown.
The SGF notes that reports on human rights abuses had reduced in the past few days because of the engagement of the PTF with heads of the security agencies involved in the abuse of citizens.
He said: “I think it is a two – way thing: you respect the rights of the citizens in turn, the officers too have a right to demand that when they are enforcing these laws, some measures of respect is accorded to them that way we will avoid the situations of unhealthy developments.
“Like I said, we have met with them for about five times, we will continue to engage them even in the processes of extension of the ease on the lockdown. We will engage them because there is going to be a vigorous pursuit in enforcement of the protocols.
“In the last two weeks in all the conferences that we have had, we mentioned the fact that compliance has been very low and the only way we can get out of the woods and achieve all the objectives that we have set, compliance is cardinal.”