The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), said the Nigerian armed force is ready to enforce President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive on the restriction of movements following the lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ondo States to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.
It has therefore appealed to the public to support the efforts of government in this trying period of the fight against COVID 19.
President Buhari, had during his broadcast to the nation over the COVID-19, pandemic on Sunday, announced the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday, 30th March 2020, based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC.
The president had said “All citizens in these areas 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 DHQ, had a media briefing said the military would enforce the order to the later.
At a media briefing, the coordinator Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, said “the Armed Forces of Nigeria is to implement all restriction on movement in line with the Federal Government of Nigeria. For the avoidance of doubt this include the Presidential Directive given by the President Commander In Chief, during his address to the Nation on the COVID 19 Pandemic, on 29 March 2020.
“The High Command of Nigerian Military hereby solicit for the support of the general public in this trying period of the fight against COVID 19. This can be achieved by adhering to all the medical and administrative guidelines being provided by government at all levels.
Enenche while noting that the military would act in support of the civil authorities, said anyone who violates the order may have themselves to blame even as he explained that the issue of penalty for defaulters remains the sole responsibility of the police and not the military.
He said military personnel to be deployed for the operations have been throughly trained on how to go about their duties.
“For the issue of Penalty, penalty would be left for the police, it is not for the military because i shouldn’t tell you those who flouts the directives for staying at home or wandering from one place to the other . It should be with the police because it is their first responsibility.
“What we normally do is that we provide aids to civil authorities so as I speak with you we now have the legality to block them if they come that is just our own so but the penalty, of course there is penalty for flouting any instructions or orders. There must be law and order and from my general knowledge i know that there should be a penalty but the police would give that penalty.”