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Despite lockdown, no-movement order, transport companies still embark on night journeys

“ALL citizens in these areas (Lagos, Ogun, and Abuja), are to stay in their homes. Travel to or from other states should be postponed. All businesses and offices within these locations should be fully closed during this period.”

The above statement is that of President Muhammadu Buhari during his lockdown speech two weeks ago.

Despite stating clearly that there will be no movement, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), in a press statement issued by the Executive Director Okechukwu Nwanguma, said some commercial transport companies are defying the lockdown and no-movement-order and continuing to embark on interstate night journeys.

Okechukwu said, “Police officers on the road across States who ought to enforce the lockdown and prevent such outlawed dangerous movements which is a veritable means of further spread of this virus across states receive a bribe from the defaulting commercial drivers and allow them to pass.

“Many recently reported index cases in states like Anambra and Kano were reported to be people who traveled from Lagos, currently the most hit state in Nigeria.

“An example is a Libra Motors bus carrying passengers which departed from Cele terminal in Lagos on the night of Friday, April 10 and arrived Owerri the next day- Saturday. Each passenger was charged fifteen thousand Naira.

“The driver simply stretched out his hands and handed the police officers money at each checkpoint and was allowed to continue.

“These intransigent Nigerians, including the transport companies’ management and their passengers are sabotaging the efforts of the state and federal governments to contain the further spread of the virus. The transport companies choose to make brisk money and expose other law-abiding Nigerian citizens and residents to the risk of infection and wider spread of the ravaging disease. Police officers, who ought to enforce the no-movement order instead also exploit the opportunity to make their own money.

“The management of the transport companies, their drivers and passengers should be identified and isolated for necessary checks.”

He urged that the Police authorities should identify the police officers involved and ensure that they are dealt with appropriately, ensure strict monitoring of transport companies’ parks and terminals, especially at night to prevent this ominous act of lawlessness.

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