Interstate Travel Ban: Reps frown at violation as Elumelu, others condemn security agencies’ complicity in a motion

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The House of Representatives has expressed concern over violation of the Presidential order banning interstate travels and the nationwide lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, accusing security agencies of complicity in the violation of the Presidential directive.

The House has therefore directed its relevant committees to investigate the complicity of the police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in the violation and come up with better ways of curbing identified lapses.

Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker House of Reps

Leading the debate on the motion, Elumelu recalled that the federal government imposed the nationwide lockdown after due consultations with state governors who agreed on the need to ban non-essential interstate passenger travels until further notice as well as the need for an overnight curfew, excepting movement for essential services and controlled interstate movement of goods and services from producers to customers.

Part of the regulations he said also included the mandatory use of face mask in public places as well as maintaining physical distancing and personal hygiene and restrictions on social and religious gatherings.

He lamented that while the restrictions on interstate is supposedly on-going, Nigerians are assailed daily with troubling images and videos of people traveling across the length and breadth of different states of the country, which is a clear violation on the presidential order on travel bans.

According to him, it is now common knowledge that on several occasions, state governments have intercepted trailer loads of people moving in the middle of night and sneaking into other states in this lockdown period, whereas there are supposed to be security agents at states borders implementing the presidential lockdown orders

Elumelu also expressed concern that at a time like this when movement is being restricted worldwide there are videos of massive movements of travellers mostly smuggled in trucks carrying food items or livestock from one part of the country to another, this a complete drawback to the COVID-19 containment effort.

He drew the attention of his colleagues to reports of complicity of security agents who are supposed to be enforcers to the compliance of the orders of Mr. President on the interstate lockdown.

He stressed that the presidential task force on COVID-19 has raised an alarm over what it described as increased level of interstate movement, worsened by the dubious concealment of people in food carrying vehicles, adding that if not immediately curtailed, such habit will further increase the number of COVID-19 cases to an alarming high, that can put the country in a precarious state.

 

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