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Covid-19: CLEEN Foundation Calls on Citizens to Cooperate with the Presidential Task Force to reduce Community Transmission of Coronavirus Pandemic in Nigeria

Covid-19: CLEEN Foundation Calls on Citizens to Cooperate with the Presidential Task Force to reduce Community Transmission of Coronavirus Pandemic in Nigeria


For Immediate Release
9:00 pm
Monday 1st June 2020

Covid-19: CLEEN
Foundation Calls on Citizens to Cooperate with the Presidential Task Force to
reduce Community Transmission of Coronavirus Pandemic in Nigeria


The Federal
Government on Monday 18th May 2020 extended gradual easing of the
lockdown for another two weeks to enable a balance between boosting economic
activities and protecting citizens from the hazards of the Covid19 pandemic. The
Governors adopted the Presidential measures towards easing of the lockdown in
the States. The CLEEN Foundation through our volunteers spread across the 36 States
and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja observed and documented compliance to human
rights standards and government directives viz-a-viz the easing of the
lockdown. As at Sunday 31st May 2020, Nigeria recorded 10, 162
confirmed cases, 3007 recovered cases and 287 deaths. The report tracks
developments from 18th to 31st May 2020.


Foundation continues to adopt a triangulation approach involving the collection
of primary data by our 37 States and FCT coordinators and volunteers in the 774
LGAs who are tracking COVID-19 developments across the States and through
reliable secondary sources of information. CLEEN Foundation has received a
total of 2,606 reports across the 774 LGAs in the six geopolitical zones and
these are disaggregated as follows:

  • 1,500 reports on citizens’ compliance to
    government directives;
  • 765 reports on conduct of security
    personnel enforcing government directives;
  • 341 reports on human rights violations
    by security personnel enforcing government directives on COVID19 pandemic.

Citizens’ Compliance with Government Directives

3. 1.1. 8:00 pm
to 6:00 am Curfew

to the lifting of the stay at home order, the 8:00 pm to 6:00 am curfew was
introduced by the Federal government. This has been adopted by most of the States
in the Federation. Our observers in the six States in the South South, reported
partial compliance by citizens to the curfew and sit-at-home restrictions by
the various State Governments. In Bayelsa State, it was reported that in
Southern Ijaw, Brass and Ogbia LGAs, there was no compliance with government directive
on the dusk to done curfew. However, the compliance level remained high in
Yenagoa. In Edo State, the level of compliance by citizens was observed to be relatively
high. Whereas, it was observed that in Igbanke and Akoko Edo areas of the State,
citizens violated the dusk to dawn curfew. In Delta State, our observers noted
the level of compliance to the 7:00 pm to 6:00 am curfew in most parts of the State
was high.

Imo State our observers noted that citizens’ compliance to the 8:00 pm to 6:00 am
curfew has relapsed lately. It was reported that citizens are gradually returning
to night businesses and in some places, bars and hotels have operations. In
Abia State the curfew is being adhered to in the State and the terms of the
partial relaxation are being complied with by residents as markets open only on
Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays weekly. In Enugu State, it was reported that
following the directives by the State government shops and businesses close by
4:00 pm daily.

Non-Compliance with Social Distancing Guidelines

In the
South South region of Nigeria, our volunteers observed and reported partial
compliance by citizens on the use of facemasks and physical distancing in
public places. In the coastal areas of Delta State, residents had failed to
make use of their facemask knowing that the monitoring task force is non-existent
in the area. It was further observed that most boat riders and passengers
commuting by sea or creeks in riverine communities namely: Egbokodo River in
Warri, River Ethiope in Sapele, Urie River in Igbide Isoko, Asaba- Ase creek
and Aragba River in Abraka, have failed to make use of masks believing that the
virus will not spread to the territory. The situation is not different in Edo State
where physical distancing is not observed by citizens in most markets visited,
especially Ibillo market in Akoko Edo LGA and Okhuesan community in Esan South
East LGA. In Cross River State, there is a high compliance to the “no mask, no
movement” policy by citizens in Calabar the State capital, but there are quite a
few incidents of violation in the rural communities. In Akwa Ibom State, our
observers from Mbo, Okobo, Udung Uko, and Urue Offong LGAs, reported that worshippers
in churches were seen not complying with physical distancing and use of
facemasks directives.

the South West region, the adherence to physical distancing in public places
particularly in markets, banks, commercial vehicles remained very low across
the six States. It was reported that most banks had taken steps to improve on
customers’ compliance with the rules of physical distancing. While it was
observed that most banks in Apapa, Mushin, Ifako Ijaiye, Ibeju Lekki, Amuwo Odofin,
Lagos Island, Shomolu, Surulere etc have introduced seating system under the
bank canopy with tag numbers provided for each customer. Furthermore, in Lagos,
it was reported that the compliance level among commercial motorists has improved
with respect to the vehicular seating capacity restrictions outlined by the State
Government except in few cases as witnessed in Amuwo Odofin Local Government

observers in the North Central reported low compliance by citizens across the States
in the region. In Plateau, Niger, Nasarawa and Benue States, it was reported
that there was low compliance to the physical distancing directives as people
gathered in clusters at social gatherings. Reports from the six area councils
within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) showed outright disregard for physical
distancing at bus stops, banking and market premises. However, there’s a high
level of compliance among transporters and commuters within the Abuja Municipal
as vehicles were visibly seen conveying only the number of persons permitted by
the FCT administration. In Kogi State, adherents of the Islamic faith observed Eid-El-Fitri
prayers without recourse to physical distancing and the use of facemask.

the North West, reports from Katsina noted that all the central mosques and
praying grounds were crowded with faithful worshippers during the Eid-El-Fitri
prayers. Safety measures such as: physical distancing, wearing of face masks
and washing of hands were not observed. Only few persons wore the face masks in
some places. Across the States in the North East, while some Muslim faithful
were seen complying with the physical distancing advisory and the use of
facemasks during the Eid-El-Fitri prayers. It was also noted that many did not
adhere to these directives including women and children.

Ban on Public Gatherings and Citizens Compliance

53% of CLEEN Foundation’s observers noted low and moderate compliance to
government ban on public gathering. Places observed include worship centres, religious
celebrations, weddings, funerals and market places.

Bayelsa State, our volunteers observed that a political rally was held in
Toro-orua community in Sagbama LGA with over 300 persons in attendance.
Furthermore, in Obunagha and Agbura town in Yenagoa LGA of the State, burial
ceremonies were held with large crowd exceeding 50 persons thereby violating government
directive on physical distancing.

the South West, it was reported that there was compliance on the ban of public
gathering as major churches and mosques across most of the States remained
closed. However, in Ekiti State, there were reports about attendance of
religious functions like jumat prayers in the mosques and church services. In
Ondo State, it was reported that residents are complying with the State
government directive granting the citizens the opportunity to bury deceased
relations within a month. This was noticed in Igbotako, Okitipupa LGA and some
parts of the South Senatorial District of the State.

the North Central, football competitions were reported to have taken place
within Jos North, Qua’n Pan, Kanke LGA of Plateau State and Karu LGA of
Nasarawa State. Our observers have reported that burial and marriage ceremonies
were held in many communities, while religious activities also held in the
rural and suburban places like Kwande, Agatu, Okpokwu, Ogbadibo, Vandeikya and
Guma LGAs of Benue State despite the State government’s decision to reverse its
lift on the ban on religious activities. Various social gatherings were
reported around the FCT, in Mpape under Bwari Area Council and Nyanya under
AMAC Area Council. Residents in Plateau, Kwara and FCT were observed to have
had prayers in their various homes as praying grounds were reportedly deserted
during the Eid-El-Fitri celebrations. In Northeast region, the six State
governors have lifted the ban on public gathering and daily activities have reverted
to normal despite the surge in the cases of corona virus in the region.

Inter-state Movements

Our volunteers
in Rivers State reported that the Governor ordered the prosecution of 14
persons who moved cattle from Adamawa State to Rivers State in breach of the
Rivers State boundary lock down order and inter-state
travels. The Governor also ordered the auction of the cattle and the two trucks
that conveyed them. The government in a bid to curtail interState movement
constructed a giant iron gate between the two ends of the road to block
vehicular movement between Rivers and Abia State. In Edo State, it was reported
that the State taskforce intercepted some travellers from the Northern part of
the country while entering the State through Ekpoma, Oredo and Akoko Edo areas
of the State. In Delta State, the Ughelli/Bayelsa, Koko/Benin express way and
Asaba /Onitsha head bridge borders remained porous as citizens were observed
entering and exiting the State through these areas. In Bayelsa State, the Covid19
Task Force intercepted two buses conveying 17 teenagers suspected to be
Almajiris, they were refused entry and turned back. Furthermore, private
vehicles are observed to be involved in inter-state movements between Bayelsa
and neighboring States of Delta and Rivers States. In Cross River State, a
trailer load of persons coming from the northern part of the country disguised as
haulage vehicle was impounded at the border between Benue and Cross River
States during the week by the State taskforce. In Akwa Ibom State, there were
reports of corpses being smuggled into the State via the Ika LGA and Ikot Ebidang
in Onna LGA.

the South West region, there were reports of movement of citizens across the States.
In Lagos and Ogun States, our volunteers reported that some trucks and other
vehicles carrying essential items played major roles in flouting the guidelines
by smuggling people in and out of the States. Reports from Oyo indicated that inter-state
movement between Lagos and Oyo remained persistent. In Ekiti, Ondo and Osun States
continued unrestricted, there were reports from border communities that illegal
inter-state movements persist. This is exploited by the law enforcement and
security agents who reportedly extort motorists and passengers in the process. 

Plateau State observers reported that Riyom LGA which is an entry point from
Abuja, Kaduna, Nasarawa and many other States is constantly experiencing a
heavy traffic of trucks and vehicles transiting into the State. This situation
is not different from observations within Langtang and Jos East LGAs where commercial
vehicles from Kano, Bauchi and Borno States move in and out of the states
regularly. Furthermore, our observers reported that in Abaji Area Council of
the FCT, there is continuous inflow of vehicles along the Lokoja-Abuja Express
Way as commercial vehicles from the East and other neighbouring States like
Benue are seen plying the road.

from our observers in the South East indicated that there are still free
movements of people across the borders. Our observers in Imo State reported
that the State borders are still very porous due to the compromising attitude
of the security officers enforcing the ban of inter-state movements. Reports
from Igbo Eze North LGA in Enugu indicated that there are still inter-state
movement as some commercial buses and taxis are secretly loading passengers
from the local government to other States like Abuja, Anambra and Kogi States. According
to the Imo State COVID19 taskforce team, about 96 passengers travelling through
the Imo State to Abia State were intercepted and tested for the virus after
which they were allowed to continue on their journey. It was later confirmed
that 25 persons tested positive compounding issues of physical distancing,
testing isolation and treatment of positive patients.

4.0 Conduct of Security Personnel on
Enforcement of Government Directives on Covid19 Pandemic

observers noted improvement in the conduct of security personnel on Covid19
duty. 60% of the reports received noted that the security personnel were of
good conduct which is an improvement from previous reports on conduct of
security personnel.

Extra-Judicial Killings by Security Personnel and other State Actors

observers have recorded a total number of 36 deaths since the restriction of
movement started in the country. On 20th May 2020, one Fatai Oladipupo was
killed by stray bullet along Obabiyi, Igando Road, Ikotun, Lagos by some police
officers attached to the Ikotun police station who were attempting to enforce
the 8:00pm curfew in the area. An elderly foodstuff seller was flogged to death
by some military personnel in Nasarawa LGA of Nasarawa State in a bid to
enforce the lockdown order. In Anambra State, the partial compliance of
citizens to the imposed directive led to the death of a young man who was shot
by the Police for flouting the curfew order. The incident happened at
Enugwu-Ukwu in Njikoka LGA of Anambra State on Wednesday May 20, 2020. Our
observer from Ngor Okpala LGA in Imo State reported an incidence of extra
judicial killings by Security Personnel.

Brutality on Citizens by Security Operatives

Observers reported a case of assault on an Okada rider by some security personnel
for riding on the wrong lane along the Lokoja-Abuja Express Way in Abaji Area
Council of the FCT. We have also noted a worrisome development associated with
the Alimajiri exchange policy embarked upon by the Kano, Kebbi, Kaduna and
other State Governments in the North West. This is a disturbing development and
violation of the human rights of the children as enshrined in the 1999
constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which guarantees the right of
all Nigerians to live in any part of the country.

5.0 Gaps Identified

  1. Citizens
    non-compliance to physical distancing and precautionary guidelines by
    Government and Nigerian Centre for Disease Control.
  2. Lack
    of sufficient testing centers in most States across Nigeria as most citizens do
    not know their Covid19 status.
  3. Poor
    enforcement of Government directives on citizens in different parts of the
    country including riverine communities across the South South region
  4. Extortion
    by security personnel on citizens for failing to use face masks
  5. Low
    level of compliance with health and safety guidelines particularly physical
  6. Complicity
    of security operatives in non-compliance with inter-state movement restrictions
    imposed by both the Federal and State Governments
  7. Poor
    supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to local health workers and
    security officers.

6.0 Recommendations

  1. Nigerian
    citizens should cooperate with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 pandemic
    by observing physical distancing guideline and others established protocols to
    reduce community transmission of coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.
  2. Provision
    of adequate testing centers at every senatorial district in the States

  • Effective
    oversight on Security personnel implementing the border control measures.
    Furthermore, erring officers found guilty of extorting citizens and violating
    human rights should be disciplined appropriately to serve as deterrent to other
  • The State
    governments need to properly access the covid19 situation in their States with
    regards to the proprietary or otherwise on the lifting of the ban on public

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria and heal our land

Benson Olugbuo, Ph.D
Executive Director
CLEEN Foundation

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