NOA joins force with ICPC to check alleged extortion of citizens at inter-state borders
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) on Tuesday said it has forged alliance with the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to check infractions of some security operatives allegedly compromising the ban on inter-state movement by accepting inducements to grant travellers passage.
Director General of NOA, Dr. Garba Abari, stated this at the presentation of the agency’s observations on efforts in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic to newsmen in Abuja.
According to him, NOA is partnering the anti-graft agency to provide toll-free numbers to enable Nigerians report such misconducts, adding that security agencies found wanting would be made to face full wraths of the law.
Abari regretted that despite being aware of the disease and the increasing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths across the country, the persistent disbelief by Nigerians and many respected opinion leaders on the danger and impact of the pandemic was worrisome.
He said the agency had devoted much efforts in the recent weeks to debunk many myths about the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from conspiracies about some persons using the pandemic to make quick gains to claims of certain herbal concoctions being sure cures for the virus.
Speaking further, he stated : “The bulk of messaging on COVID19 has been rather intellectual for people at the grassroots where illiteracy is still high. Words and phrases like “Social Distancing”, “Self-isolation”, “Co-morbidity”, etc. are over the heads of grassroots people and need to be stepped down to their level.
“The lockdown was initially effective but subsequently waned in efficacy, especially in cities where enforcement measures were concentrated. However, in the sub-urban and rural areas, business continued almost as usual, despite the lockdown. Most religious centers complied with the ban on gatherings, especially in the cities but in the sub-urban and rural areas, religious gatherings still continue as usual.”
With the continuation of the partial lockdown, Abari urged Nigerians to strictly observe hygiene and safety measures approved by health authorities to avoid contracting the virus.
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