The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday told vigilante groups in areas that have recorded violence and robberies as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, not to resort to unlawful and extra-judicial actions.
The party gave the warning in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu on Wednesday in Abuja, adding that there are reports that some of the vigilante groups are now attacking innocent people.
“In responding to this ugly situation, we would like to caution the various vigilante groups to resist the urge to resort to unlawful and extra-judicial actions in the name of protecting communities.
“There are already disturbing reports of vigilantes terrorising innocent citizens. What we all need now is to offer ourselves support and ensure we provide as much comfort as possible for one another.
“While the government and private concerns are doing their best to provide relief, we all have a responsibility to join our security services in protecting ourselves and communities from miscreants”, the party said.
APC, in the statement, also assured Nigerians that the emerging opportunistic crimes that have been recorded in those areas as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown will soon be brought under check.
“The key responsibility of government remains to ensure the safety and security of lives and property of all citizens. From the renewed and intensified Boko Haram counter-insurgency to the enhanced offensive against emerging crimes in other parts of the country, the government would continue to take bold steps to secure the country and the citizenry.
“In line with the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari during his broadcast on Monday, a major and coordinated offensive by the Police, Army, Navy, Airforce and Directorate of State Services (DSS) is underway against the miscreants.
“There is no dispute about the hardships being faced by many citizens as a result of the unavoidable lockdown. However, we must resist criminal elements trying to exploit the situation and in the process inflicting further hardships on already stressed fellow Nigerians.
“Nigeria is recording great success in tracking, testing suspected cases and generally containing further spread of the COVID-19. We have achieved greater awareness of and adherence to public health directives as it relates to social distancing and other preventive protocols. We are confident that the fight against the global pandemic will be won soon and we all will be able to return to our normal lives and activities. We urge Nigerians to continue to stay safe”, the party said.
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