By Yusufu Shehu Usman
The enforcers of this lock down order should be civil in the enforcement of the restriction of movement. No security man has the right to beat up anybody for violating any law
If a citizen violates any law including the restriction of movement, the law requires that the offenders should be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the law
It is sheer savagery for armed police and military officers to beat up citizens or inflict injury on any person even if he commits an offence in his presence. The law doesn’t give them such power.
It should be appreciated that the directive itself is a law and must be enforced in compliance with due process
Since the directive to stay at home also has come with some exceptions and exemptions, the enforcement officer is under a legal obligation to verify why the person suspected of violating the directive is out of his house when there is a lock down
The policy or directives are put in place to protect the people from contracting a virus they were not responsible for entrance to our country
The question should be asked, if the enforcement authorities decide to brutalise innocent citizens who are only victims or potential victims of the virus they know nothing about how it came into the country, what would they do to those who imported it and put the whole nation at risk?
Should we line them all and execute them? It will be a barbaric act to do so
And the importers of the virus are known. We are, as we should, show compassion on them and treating them for the infection. We are praying for them to get healed
In the circumstances we have found our selves, we should focus on sensitising the people to make them appreciate why they should stay at home
Let them understand why they should cooperate with the Government and stay at home to contain the virus and stem its spread
The anger or frustration of most Nigerians about this Coronavirus, is that they were not responsible for it’s entry into the country but they are made to suffer and now being beaten for it
The emphasis should be on changing this narrative through diplomatic advocacy not forceful enforcement
The virus is real, it’s spread beyond doubt or argument and it’s devastation manifest for all to see and feel
Let’s together close ranks and fight the virus with understanding and collective resolve as Nigerians