– Senator Ike Ekweremadu has condemned the reported extrajudicial killings in several parts of the country due to the lockdown
– The former Deputy President of the Senate described the killings as most unfortunate and condemnable
– The Enugu-born lawmaker called on the president and security agencies to stem the needless killings immediately
Former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has condemned the reported extrajudicial killings in several parts of the country by security agencies enforcing the lockdown across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ekweremadu stated this via a statement on Thursday, April 16 and called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies to stem the needless killings immediately.
His words: “I am deeply saddened by the report from the National Human Rights Commission of the loss of 18 Nigerian lives in the hands of security agents enforcing the lockdown ordered by the federal government and various state governments.
“This is most unfortunate and condemnable, especially when we consider that the number of coronavirus fatalities in the country, stand at 12, as at today.
“I call on President Muhammadu Buhari and the relevant security and government agencies to ensure that the reprehensible acts are thoroughly investigated and the culprits brought to book.
“We must ensure that law enforcement agents do not turn their weapons against the very citizens they are supposed to protect.
“While the lockdowns and other precautionary measures are very necessary for containing the pandemic, they must be enforced with every sense of professionalism, discipline, restraint, empathy, and above all, with utmost respect for human life, which the lockdowns were put in place to protect in the first place.”
The lawmaker condoled with families that lost their loved ones and prayed God to grant the deceased eternal repose.
Personnel of Nigerian security agencies are notorious for harassing innocent citizens and always exploiting any situation to intimidate them.
On Wednesday, April 15, a viral video on social media showed a lady who refused to wind down her window or park for officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and police officers because they weren’t wearing facemasks in Abuja.
In the video, a police officer was seen on her bonnet as she attempted to drive away from a checkpoint. She was forced to stop, and the team of FRSC marshals caught up with her.
They immediately went on to remove her number plate, as one of the officers rain expletives on her and also attempted to beat her up.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had on the same day revealed that Nigeria’s security agencies have killed 18 citizens since the lockdown regulations on coronavirus pandemic were enforced.
The NHRC executive secretary, Tony Ojukwu, said the majority of the victims were killed during attempts to enforce the coronavirus lockdown and similar regulations.