THE Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Tukur Buratai, was captured defying the social distancing rule on Monday, April 13, while serving food to his troops at an Easter luncheon held at Camp Ngamdu in Kaga Local Government Area of Borno State.
This is coming after the COAS announced his relocation to Borno State to intensify the fight against Boko Haram, promising that he will remain in the state till identifiable results are achieved.
However, while Buratai plans to tackle insurgency in the Northeast, his recent actions and that of other commanders may have exposed his troops to the deadly coronavirus infection.
In recent photos shared on the Nigerian Army official Twitter page, Buratai, accompanied by EO Udoh, the chief of training and operations Army; Corps Commander Engineers JS Malu; Theatre Commander Theatre Command OPLD F Yahaya; Commander Sector 2 LA Araba; Brigade Commanders and Commanding Officers, were seen serving the troops food with no face masks on.
The Army leadership could be seen flouting the social distancing rule effected as a measure to curb the spread of coronavirus, which has infected over 300 Nigerians and killed almost a dozen people in the country.
In similar vein, the Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, also defied the social distancing protocol few hours after he recovered from COVID-19.
The governor was captured while attending Jumma’at prayers at Bauchi Central Mosque on Friday, April 10.
Mohammed tested positive to the virus and took ill for 16 days after which he recovered and almost immediately joined scores of worshippers in the mosque to pray.
Globally, the growing casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced governments to enforce lockdown orders, travel bans and restrictions to curtail the spread of the virus that has infected over 1.8 million people and killed over 100,000 persons.
With no known cure or vaccine, countries including Nigeria have focused on a containment strategy which requires physical/social distancing in order to prevent further spread of the virus.
To enforce the lockdown in Nigeria, the government has directed the military, police and paramilitary to ensure people adhere to the rules.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has also repeatedly announced that staying home and observing social distancing is the best form of prevention.