Buhari speech on COVID-19 lacks clarity, empathy says HURIWA

March 30, 2020
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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), says President Muhammadu Buhari national broadcast on Sunday which gave the directive that Lagos, Ogun and Abuja should be totally close down for two weeks lacked clarity.

The group in a statement on Monday seen by National Daily, said closing the nation’s commercial and political capitals without making provisions for how families can buy their daily groceries and essential perishable food products, shows that the President lacks human empathy, and is not ready to adhere strictly to the demands of the law to respect the fundamental human rights of Nigerians.

“The ambiguity in the statement of President Muhammadu Buhari on how the Nigerian State will rise to the legal obligation of care to extend social safety nets for the vulnerable populations is totally insensitive and irresponsible.”

The civil rights advocacy group also expressed concern that the ambiguities contained in the national Broadcast by President Muhammadu Buhari has handed a free licence to armed security forces to wantonly breach the fundamental human rights of Nigerians.

“There is the possibility and indeed it has started happening that armed security forces are already arresting and detaining Nigerians under flimsy excuses and these armed security forces are extorting Nigerians in the guise of granting them bail”.

HURIWA has also expressed consternation that President Muhammadu Buhari is trying to muzzle media freedoms by empowering the security forces to determine the media workers that will be allowed to access their offices during the two weeks’ lockdown.

The group faulted President Muhammadu Buhari when he stated that furthermore, although schools are closed, I have instructed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to work with State Governments in developing a strategy on how to sustain the school feeding program during this period without compromising our social distancing policies.

The Rights group stated that this confusing directive does not show coherence in strategic planning and execution of government tasks and obligation of care for the poorest of the poor. This pronouncement is as empty as it can possibly be. This political statement is not meant to be meticulously implemented.

The Rights group wondered how government that has sent the populations into quarantine for two weeks is promising to provide food reliefs in the coming Months. With what food will they spend the next two weeks given that these are people that depended on daily economic activities to be able to put foods on their tables?

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