COVID- 19: Don’t extend lockdown, Senator Abaribe warns


…Hails IGP on Abia Killings

By Henry Umoru

THE Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, representing Abia South has cautioned the Federal Government against the planned extension of a nationwide lockdown over, COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Abaribe, further extention of the present lock down would rather ignite major economic and security crisis that could hurt Nigerians majority of who depend on daily earnings for sustenance.

Meanwhile, the Senate Minority Leader has hailed the Inspector- General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, for his prompt action in arresting what he described as the dangerous slide into major crisis in Abia State, over the reported cases of extra- judicial killings by men of the Police Force.

Senator Abaribe said that the IGP acted wisely to effect the changes in the police leadership in its Abia state command as well as ordering an investigation into the various police killings, especially the Ohafia brutal episode, which resulted in violent reactions by a section of the citizenry.

In a statement yesterday by his Media Adviser, Uche Awom, Abaribe who warned that pushing for it could be combustible and counterproductive as the people seem totally worn-out in all ramifications to soak in further shocks, however appealed to the authorities to seriously ponder on the economic and security implications of a further extension of the lockdown on the people and of course on the country as a whole.

Abaribe said, “I will rather opt for a cautious and guided lifting of the lockdown where the existing measures like, protective barriers such as compulsory wearing of face masks, sanitizers, and other associated sanitary conditions and personal hygeine are enforced in public places.

“Aside from the above, daily disinfection of halls, rooms, vehicles, vessels, surroundings et’al, must become the new normal. Doing these would definitely tamp the hot air and guide our people to resume their normal life.

“My fear is that majority of our people in the informal sector are daily earners hence their survival is predicated on their going out daily if they must survive. Our people operate mostly  in the commercial sector, I have the feeling that further extension of the lockdown would hurt the people the more.”

Still on the action of the IGP, Senator Abaribe said that he hopes the measures taken by the police authorities would be far reaching enough and that the probe will unearth the culprits for appropriate punishment such that will mitigate against a further occurrence not only in the South East but every part of Nigeria.

The Minority leader who also frowned at the deliberate twisting of facts on the circumstances that led to the alleged police brutal killing of the petrol attendant in Ogbor Hill, Aba by the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, nonetheless, however appealed to the petrol workers (NUPENG) to exercise patience on their threat to embark on strike over the matter.

Abaribe said, “It is unfortunate that a top government official would delve into a matter that he is not connected with to tell ugly tales, even when the police had owned up to the gruesome incident. Justice must be done in the matter, this I can assure. Notwithstanding, I appeal to NUPENG to wait for the outcome of investigation into the matter.”



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