The international human rights body, Amnesty International has called on the Nigerian government to ensure that the Nigerian Army does not abuse the rights of citizens as they enforce lockdown amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The human rights group made this appeal on Wednesday, April 1, via Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.
“While acknowledging the size of the challenge and efforts made by authorities to fight coronavirus across Nigeria, we are also concerned about reports and videos circulating on social media showing violations of human rights, that include beatings by law enforcement agencies tasked with ensuring compliance with the lockdown,” Ojigho said.
“As the nation observes the 14-day lockdown, the rights of citizens must be respected and protected; including the right to health care, security, and access to sufficient food and water.
“The lockdown must have a human face; enabling people to have access to vital needs and relief for those who can no longer earn a living; since the majority of Nigerians are daily earners and live below the poverty line.”
The statement by Amnesty International further revealed, “the Nigerian authorities have a human rights obligation to ensure that the most vulnerable and marginalized sections of the population; such as persons living with disabilities and the homeless have sufficient access to the services needed to give them the best chance of survival.
“The scale and deadly nature of the pandemic which has spread to over 201 countries and territories have made it necessary for governments to implement extraordinary measures.
“But collective efforts to curb the spread of the pandemic must be followed up with commensurate effort to ensure that timely testing and treatment are available and accessible to all Nigerians.
“Even in the midst of a global health crisis; the Nigerian authorities must protect people’s rights and ensure that all Nigerians have access to healthcare, food, water, and all other basic needs.”