A political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, on Thursday, condemned reports of harassment of citizens by some military officers and other security agents enforcing the lockdown directive of the Federal Government as he urged security agencies to be civil in approach.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in a nationwide broadcast ordered a stay-at-home for residents of Lagos, Ogun and the FCT in a bid to contain the spread of the COVID-19.
Frank, in a statement in Abuja, described any form of harassment against Nigerians at the present moment as one suffering too many.
He urged the agents of the military, police and other security agencies enforcing the present lockdown across the country to be civil in their approach in order not to unduly increase the burden of hunger already being borne by poor and vulnerable Nigerians.
He noted that the reported cases of assault against Nigerians on essential duties like Journalists, Doctors and telecomunication staff in Lagos and Abuja have no place in a civilized setting like Nigeria.
He noted that it amounted to an aberration of grave proportion in the first place to deploy military personnel into the streets to enforce a stay-at-home order.
The Bayelsa-born political activist, insisted that apart from workers on essential duties duly exempted by the President in his broadcast, there are countless Nigerians that might need urgent medical attention in the affected areas.
“The military should have deployed their energy to defeat Boko Haram, bandits and all other criminal tendencies in the North-east in particular and Nigeria in general whose sole reason for being on the streets is to secure their daily bread.
“It should be noted that poverty is ravaging the land and the saying that ‘an hungry man is an angry man’ might apply if there is no modicum of civility in handling the situation by the military and other security agencies.
“If the government actually wants the people to stay at home, amenities like stable electricity, water and other necessary palliatives must be provided.
“Even as poor as Rwanda is, President Paul Kagame has been able to provide enough comfort for the citizens to enable them stay at home without any resort to the use of force.
“Why can’t the Federal Government make citizens comfortable for once?”
Frank, however appealed to citizens to strictly abide by the stay-at-home order in other to speed up the containment of the deadly virus.
“Let’s take the inconveniences of the moment as worthy sacrifices to safeguard our lives and effectively contain the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic,” Frank said.
He called for more sensitization of the populace to the dangers of COVID-19 and
prayed for a quick end to the dire global challenge.
Comrade Timi Frank