Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered officers to enforce the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulations 2021.
The regulations were signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, on 26 January to protect the health and wellbeing of Nigerians in the face of widespread and rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.
The regulations make mask wearing compulsory in public places.
They also impose impose restrictions on gatherings in public places – places of worship, workplace and schools, banks, public transport vehicles, hostels, boarding houses, detention centres.
An offence under the law is punishable, on summary conviction, by a fine or a term of six months imprisonment or both in accordance with Section 5 of the Quarantine Act.
Adamu gave the enforcement order to assistant inspectors general of Police in the 17 zonal commands and the Commissioners of Police in the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
This was in compliance with the provisions of the law which mandates the Nigeria Police Force and other agencies of government to do so.
The IGP, while noting that the uncertainty and risks engendered by the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic have placed additional responsibilities on the general public, called on citizens to voluntarily comply with the provisions of the Regulations for the safety of all.
The IGP further cautioned officers enforcing the Regulations to show tact, compassion and empathy with the citizens.
He reiteratedd that the officers must be firm and professional and at the same time remain polite, civil and respect the fundamental rights of the citizens.