What’s the understanding of the Nigerian police about important providers and the prime position of important staff in a interval of nationwide emergency?
Important providers are what the individuals can not do with out, both within the interval of peace or struggle. With out such service supply, the possibilities of survival are slim. Every thing might be at standstill; a prelude to the breakdown of social order.
Authorities exists to make sure that these non-negotiable providers or fundamental infrastructure are maintained to ensure public welfare.
Basically, thec wants of man are meals, clothes and shelter. Different imperatives are described as aids to residing. For instance, water is categorised as meals. Shelter is non-negotiable, however the residence can solely be a handy place if there is no such thing as a energy outage. In the identical vein, safety shouldn’t be compromised. This highlights the significance of safeguarding society by way of institutionalised safety system.
Additionally, since well being is wealth, well being workers-doctors, nurses, laboratory staff etc-are central to particular person and neighborhood wellbeing. With out their providers, many lives might be misplaced to medical emergencies.
In civilised climes, the media additionally occupy a strategic place. Journalists are the bridge between the federal government and the general public. They disseminate info, provide constructive criticisms and afford the federal government the advantage of suggestions.
Even, through the army rule when curfew was often imposed by troopers, there was an exception to the rule. Whereas the motion of generality of residents are restricted, well being staff, NEPA officers, water company employees, hearth fighters and safety brokers have been exempted. They have been by no means molested once they confirmed their identification playing cards.
That, maybe, seems now to be within the realm of the previous. Whereas imposing the curfew or restriction order imposed by authorities to include the additional unfold of Covid-19 pandemic, these important staff suffered unjustifiable harassment within the fingers of safety brokers through the week.
Overzealousness safety males have been on the prowl. Exulberance appeared to have displaced discretion. They intentionally closed their eyes to cause, hiding underneath the ‘order from above.’ It was a double tragedy for over 50 important staff who have been arrested and ‘detained’ in Lagos, following the enforcement of the directive by Mohammed Adamu, Inspector-Basic of Police, on the restriction/curfew order.
Based on a report, the autos of those staff have been impounded. Some have been taken into custody. A reporter, who was a sufferer, complained that they have been later permitted to sleep of their automobiles at midnight at a police station round Alausa, Ikeja. Regardless of displaying their identification playing cards, there was no respite.
Their households have been boxed into anxiousness at midnight. The affected might neither return to workplace nor attain residence. All entreaties to permit them passage fell on deaf ears.
Most of the important staff have been already drained and worn out resulting from hectic day job once they obtained to the verify factors. Some slept on the roadside, with the sensation that policemen mounting the roadblock will serve kind of as safety for them. However, it was a dehumanising expertise.
After some hours of psychological torture and suspense, the IGP, who was inundated with complaints nationwide, determined to douse the stress. He made an adjustment to the earlier order, clarifying that “all important staff, together with medical personnel, firefighters, ambulance providers, journalists, and so forth, are exempted from the restriction of motion related to each the partial lockdown and the nationwide curfew throughout the Federation.”
Drive Public Relations Officer Frank Mba acknowledged that Adamu “has subsequently, directed all Zonal Assistant Inspectors Basic of Police and Instructions Commissioners of Police to present impact to those exemptions while imposing the restriction orders.”
Earlier than the renewed surveillance by the police, there have been complaints about police negligence and subversion of the inter-state journey ban. The Presidential Activity Drive on Covid-19, led by Boss Mustapha, accused safety brokers of undermining the anti-Covid struggle by enjoyable the inter-state border closure. Not all policemen indulged within the vice. However, a few of them turned away their eyes as inter-city business autos launched into night time journeys.
Many individuals alleged that safety brokers have transformed the roadblocks into unlawful toll gates, taking bribes from unscrupulous parts bent on circumventing the lockdown guidelines as they migrate from state to state at midnight. Additionally, many non-essential staff posed as important staff in a bid to beat police surveillance.
Extra worrisome is the migration of many Almajirai from the North to the South, regardless of the heavy presence of safety on the highway. In truth, aggrieved Igbo leaders blamed the police for the exodus of many northern youths to the Southeast through the week, fuelling the apprehension a couple of large-scale importation of the dreaded virus.
It was in utter sensitivity to those myriads of complaints towards safety brokers mounting roadblocks in border cities that the police determined to topic violators to horror. They adorned the garb of brutality and impunity as they have been unable to separate the wheat from the chaff. Consequently, medical doctors and journalists have been trapped.
The maltreatment of some well being staff was premised on some conflicting and complicated statements credited to state authorities and the police command on the standing of important staff through the curfew interval.
It’s a double tragedy for medical doctors and nurses, who’re on the frontline of the Covid struggle, to be harassed and intimidated by safety brokers whereas going to and coming back from work the place they discharge their official duties with patriotism.
It’s noteworthy that many medical doctors and nurses have paid dearly for his or her avowed dedication. Scores of well being staff have been contaminated by the virus. Within the course of, their households have been additionally contaminated. Some have even died, forsaking agonising relations. But, devoted well being staff proceed to make the required sacrifices to the nation.
Out of worry too, some hospitals have been furious. Their medical doctors have denied sufferers nursing different illnesses reliable entry to their hospitals. That is antithetical to their skilled oath.
The implication of the conflicting statements on curfew exception is that it’s now unsafe for well being staff to proceed to render diligent providers to the state at this important time. No skilled desires to function in an environment of panic and confusion. That’s the reason well being unions thought-about job boycott to ventilate their grievances.
The directive by the Nigeria Medical Affiliation (NMA) to medical doctors on the sit-at-home protest underscore the predicament of the practitioners. It isn’t past expectation. However, it ought to instantly be known as off in nationwide curiosity. Many sufferers could die resulting from in the future of medical neglect. The well being sector is bleeding profusely. There may be want for dialogue between the police and NMA.
Covid is probably the most urgent nationwide problem threatening the nation. However, medical doctors and different well being staff have many non-Covid sufferers to take care of of their numerous hospitals, clinics and first well being centres. Any measure geared toward inadvertently stopping medical doctors from their constitutional assignments of saving valuable lives is counter-productive and condemnable. It’s a nice disservice to the nation and mankind.
However, well being staff, as enjoined by the police command, mustn’t additionally abuse the exception prolonged to important staff. They need to cooperate with the police by obeying the principles in order that the police can cooperate with them. Obedience to the principles signifies that as important staff, they need to their automobiles to kabukabu autos at night time or carry passengers who will not be important staff.
At this important interval of nationwide emergency, police and important staff ought to see themselves as companions in progress.