A COALITION of 70 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has made a number of recommendation to President Muhammadu Buhari which includes the sack of Boss Mustapha, Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) for flouting guideline of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The group, in a petition to the President, disclosed that Mustapha put at risk every effort of relevant institutions including the NCDC to curtailing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic at the burial of the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari held recently at Gudu Cemetery, Abuja.
The group asked the president to appoint the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to take over from Mustapha while the Ministry of Women affairs is drafted into the presidential committee for better coordination.
“We, therefore, call for the removal of the Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 for the lack of leadership he displayed which has the potential to damage all the work the NCDC and other institutions, including civil society, are doing to prevent the spread of the virus,” the letter read.
“Strengthen the Presidential Task Force on COVID 19 by including the women affairs ministry and other stakeholders and place it under the direct oversight of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for better coordination and alignment. As he is already overseeing the Economic Sustainability Committee, this move will accelerate the success of the COVID-19 response through synergistic implementation of the various palliative interventions of the government in the interest of the majority of Nigerians who are on very low incomes.”
In addition, the coalition called for sanctions to serve as deterrence for impunity and other wrongful behaviour during the lockdown.
They called for the prosecution of security officials accused of extra-judicial killings of 18 persons while implementing the lockdown order.
“Impose lawful consequences on those who recklessly endanger others by disobeying NCDC guidelines so that such behaviour does not continue with impunity. As such, we call for an investigation into, and prosecution of, the following groups of people: (1) the security personnel responsible for the extra-judicial killings of 18 Nigerians under the guise of enforcing the lockdown; and (2) those who organised and supervised the funeral of Mallam Kyari.”
It could be recalled that Nigerians criticised the government officials who met to hold prayer rites and subsequent burial of the deceased Kyari for disregarding the social distancing guideline, lockdown order, and other spelled out guidelines.
Read the full recommendations here