Managing Deaths Amid Covid-19 Lockdown
With the increased number of the COVID-19 cases in Nigeria 12 deaths rate have been inflicted by the virus, the law enforcement agents has killed more persons than the virus, the agents killed 18 persons while enforcing the lockdown ordered to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Nigeria.
Looking at the high increase of people killed during the lockdown, could this be seen as an overzealous act by the law enforcement agents or failure on the path of the citizens who fail to obey the lockdown order.
There have been several complaints to the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, where about ‘105 complaints of rights violations by security forces’ in 24 states. The complaints received and documented by the NHRC within the period include cases of extrajudicial killings, violation of right to freedom of movement, unlawful arrest and detention, and seizure/confiscation of properties.
Analysing the 18 persons killed, eight of those killed were by correctional officers in the northwest Kaduna state. The police were accused of killing seven and the army were allegedly responsible for two deaths. A local committee enforcing the lockdown in the southeast was responsible for killing one individual.
The inability of the law enforcement agents to enforce the lockdown without making citizens pay with their lives speaks volumes of the protocols and rules of engagement by the law enforcement, well the efficiency level and capacity of law enforcement agents to deal with civil population.
What could have been the reason for citizens disobeying the lockdown order? The bigger question been faced today is how long will citizens be law abiding in the face of hunger and been deprived of freedom of movement.
Palliatives package that aimed to cushion the effects of the lockdown order is not getting to the vulnerable people across the country, there is need for swift action by the government as citizens will rather die of Covid-19 rather than hunger.
The government needs to step up in it commitment to help ease the burden on citizens at this trying time that the world is faced with health crisis, to avoid increase in number of death rate by law enforcement agents as citizens are beginning to resist attempt to hold them back as there is cry of hunger in the country.
Controlling the excesses of death rate during this period there is need for citizens to be law abiding at these moment to help curb the spread of the COVID-19, the government needs to show level of commitment else the law enforcement agents will have higher tally than the virus in terms of death rate.