Presidential adviser calls for unconstrained government force after Nigerians ignore Covid-19 directives
PROFESSOR Itse Sagay, the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to lock down Nigeria for a minimum of two more months after Nigerians failed to comply with safety measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Daily Independent reported.
On Wednesday, the federal government began easing the weeks-long Covid-19 lockdown. According to the newspaper, Sagay said he saw “thousands” of Nigerians taking to the streets again without face masks and not practising physical distancing, despite the rise in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country.
Describing Nigerians as “the most undisciplined people on Earth”, the professor suggested that Buhari deploy military personnel to patrol the streets and arrest anyone they find, apart from essential workers.
Speaking to the publication, Sagay said: “I went out after six weeks today and in spite of all that has been said, I saw them in their thousands without wearing masks. Out of the 50 carrying masks, 25% had it on their necks instead of their faces. Only about 25% were wearing the masks properly.
“Buses were filled, people were in crowds and they were just behaving as if everything is normal, as if there is no Covid-19 pandemic in the country.”
The professor said Nigeria needed “a very strong hand” and even “authoritarian leadership” for many things to succeed.
“If I were the president, I would close down this country for two months and put armed men on the streets to arrest and detain anybody who is found outside, except essential workers,” he said.
He added that the government should use its power and authority “without constraint”.
“With the way Nigerians are behaving, we may have to be quarantined for, like, two months by force. Aside from the lockdown, we should have security men patrolling the streets and inflicting the worst type of punishment on anybody who violates the directive,” Sagay said.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has recorded 148 new cases of the virus since Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 2 950, with 481 recoveries and 98 deaths.
– African News Agency