COVID-19: Enforcing the Law genuinely or an avenue to use extreme force and loot public funds in Nigeria? – Felix Asuquo

Sheriff Officer Felix Asoquo

Are Nigerian Officials truly trying their best to enforce the laws or do they see the pandemic as yet another avenue to use brutal force as a means of facilitating the looting of public funds?

In the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic, it saddens my mind to see the extreme use of physical force, destructions, and pains inflicted on Nigerians by Law enforcement and military officers under the cover of enforcing the lockdown order by the Nigerian government. On the other end, a global Pandemic has become a new avenue for some elected or appointed officials in Nigeria to misappropriate funds meant to assist Nigerians in areas of feeding and providing basic needs during the lockdown order which is aimed at reducing the spread and eradication of COVID-19.

The majority of Nigerians are already inflicted with pains and frustration which is a result of malnutrition, lack of basic needs, proper medical and safety supplies that will aid them to stay home in order to effectively combat the spread of this global pandemic.

As it is seen on several news journals, Nigerians are aware that the Federal Government and several other States have disbursed billions of Naira combined to aid in the fight against COVID-19. However, it is unclear at this time the extent of safety measures applied; and basic needs supplied in order to ensure that Nigerians stay home, stay safe, and stay healthy.

In my opinion, I am totally against the use of extreme physical force by some Law Enforcement officers towards Nigerians out on the streets, and the latest in Calabar which is making rounds on social media of a taxi driver who been mercilessly beaten for disobeying Governor Ayade’s use of a Face mask in public. This inhumane acts and the use of extreme physical force by Law enforcement officials will not keep Nigerians at home, because the majority of the people need to go out in order to put food on their table.

I am using this medium to stand with millions of other Nigerians, and I’m calling on all elected public officers begining from the senators, down to Local Government Councilors to work as a team and focus on the needs of the people they represent in their constituencies with the provision of money, foodstuffs, and basic needs that will aid in the stay at home order.

I am also calling on the president and Senate to immediately pass an executive order that mandates every state Governor to set up an independent prosecutor panel that will investigate any extreme use of physical, chemical, or mechanical use of force against the citizens of their States moving forward.

As a first responder, I understand the level of sacrifice exerted by Law Enforcement, and Medical officers across the world and I want to sincerely thank each and every one of you for your sacrifice; To those that have lost their lives during this pandemic, you are the true Heroes.

Felix Asuquo is a Nigerian American and an Investigator with the Essex County Sheriff’s Department and currently assigned to the Essex County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency management.

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