Wednesday, 20 May 2020 05:27

Buhari to security agencies: Essential workers exempted from curfew; IGP to police officers: Don’t exempt anyone from curfew

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Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu contrary to the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, ordered police commands not to exempt anybody, including workers on essential duties, when  enforcing the ban on interstate movements and the nationwide curfew.

Adamu gave the directive to zonal assistant-inspectors general of police and state commissioners of police during a virtual conference  on Tuesday.

The President had, in his first Covid-19 address to the nation on March 29, ordered a lockdown in Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun states.

Buhari, however, exempted health workers, journalists as well as staff of telecommunication companies from the lockdown.

In his second Covid-19 on April 13,  when he extended the lockdown in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun states, the President also emphasised that workers on essential duties were exempted from the lockdown.

Commenting on harassment by security agencies, Presidential Task Force on Covid-19  on March 30 said journalists needed only their identity cards to move around during the lockdown.

On April 27, when he ordered a ban on interstate movements and imposed an 8pm to 6am curfew on the nation, the President repeated that workers on essential duties were exempted.

PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, while announcing the extension of interstate lockdown and the nationwide curfew at the task force press conference on Monday, said exemptions granted by the President in the first phase would subsist.

But a source at the IG’s  conference with police commissioners on Tuesday said Adamu had directed policemen not to allow any exemption.

The source stated, “For your information, a curfew is a curfew. After 8pm, there will be no movement by anybody, including journalists and doctors as well as other health workers.

“The directive we have received from the IG is that as from 8pm, the question of being on essential services does not arise.”