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Borno response team orders screening at entry points

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Babagana Zulum


The Borno State COVID-19 response team has directed the Army to screen and test drivers at three entry points into Maiduguri metropolis namely: Njimtilo, Muna and Dalori camp.

Governor Babagana Zulum had ordered closure of the entry points to prevent spread of coronavirus into Borno State. Commissioner of Transport, Abubakar Tijjani and member of Borno COVID-19 response team said, “Governor Zulum directed the closure of all entry points to Maiduguri, except those on essential services.

A truck driver at Njimtilo, Modu Fannami, told The Guardian that he was stopped and screened at Benisheikh and Damaturu, before reaching Maiduguri at noon on Sunday.

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“The Army and health workers allowed me to proceed into the metropolis without a comprehensive screening exercise against COVID-19. Even my driver mate was not screened against the global deadly virus at Njimtilo entry point,” he said.

However, Tijjani charged the Army to mobilise its troops at Njimtilo, Muna, Dalori and Gubio camps, Molai and Monguno Road to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Action Group on Free Civic Space has expressed concern over human rights abuses by state agents enforcing compliance with COVID-19 in the country.

In a statement made available to The Guardian yesterday, the civil society group urged the law enforcers to tread with caution and respect the rights of those they were hired to protect.

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The statement was co-signed by Emmanuel Acha (Youth Forum for Social Change), Obioma Agoziem (Centre for Corrections and Human Development), Victoria Ohaeri (Spaces For Change) and Okechukwu Nwanguma (Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre)

The Federal had, last week, announced a lockdown of Abuja as well as Lagos and Ogun states, to curb the spread of the novel virus, which has affected over 200 people in Nigeria with five deaths.

The group charged government to “sensitise law-enforcers on rights-respecting methods of carrying out their duties, including setting up complaints desks and hotlines for members of the public to report incidences of abuses.”

It noted that national and international law prohibited governments and law enforcement agents from using COVID-19 as an excuse to derogate from the right to life.

Recalling how trigger-happy soldiers allegedly gunned down one Joseph Pessu in a show of force to maintain COVID-19 lockdown in Delta State, it called for thorough investigation of the matter and prosecution of the culprit.

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