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Ban on inter-state travels, compulsory use of masks… highlights of Buhari’s address

Ban on inter-state travels, compulsory use of masks… highlights of Buhari’s address
April 27
22:31 2020

On Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari gave his third nationwide broadcast on the coronavirus pandemic, extending the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.

He said the lockdown will ease gradually starting from Monday, but will be “followed strictly with aggressive reinforcement of testing and contact tracing measures.”

Here are other highlights of the president’s address which include nationwide measures:

SELECTED BUSINESSES, OFFICES TO OPEN FOR NINE HOURS DAILY

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Buhari said in easing the lockdown, the government will allow certain businesses and offices to open for nine hours, starting from 9am to 6pm. He did not state the kind of businesses that will be allowed to operate although he said the presidential task force on COVID-19 would provide further information on specific areas.

CURFEW AND BAN ON NON-ESSENTIAL INTER-STATE TRAVELS 

The president added that part of the nationwide measures being introduced include the ban on non-essential travels between states. He said there would be an overnight curfew from 8pm to 6am. However, there would be partial and controlled interstate movement of goods and services from producers to consumers. The governors had particularly sought the ban on inter-state non-essential travels to curb the spread of coronavirus from one state to another.

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‘HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES WILL NOT BE TOLERATED’

Buhari said his administration would not tolerate the abuse of human rights by security agencies in the course of ensuring there is no breakdown of law and order. There have been reports of extrajudicial killings and other forms of abuse since the lockdown commenced.

The president said: “While we feel deeply concerned about isolated security incidents involving hoodlums and miscreants, I want to assure all Nigerians that your safety and security remains our primary concern especially in these exceedingly difficult and uncertain times.

“As we focus on protecting lives and properties, we will not tolerate any human rights abuses by our security agencies. The few reported incidences are regrettable, and I want to assure you that the culprits will be brought to justice.”

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14-DAY LOCKDOWN IN KANO

The nation’s number one citizen also ordered a 14-day lockdown in Kano state to curb the spread of COVID-19. The state, which has 77 confirmed COVID-19 cases, has recorded “strange deaths” in the last one week.

Buhari said the lockdown, which takes immediate effect, is to prevent further spread of the disease to neighbouring states.

“With regards to Kano, I have directed the enforcement of a total lockdown for a period of two weeks effective immediately,” he said.

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“The federal government shall deploy all the necessary human, material and technical resources to support the state in controlling and containing the pandemic and preventing the risk of further spread to neighbouring states.”

KUDOS, SUPPORT FOR FRONTLINE WORKERS

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The president commended the frontline workers across the country whom, he said, “risk everything to ensure we win this fight.”

He said for those of them who got infected in the line of duty, the federal government would do “all it takes to support you and your families during this exceedingly difficult period.”

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“I will also take this opportunity to assure you all that your safety, wellbeing and welfare remains paramount to our Government,” he added.

COMPULSORY USE OF FACE MASKS

Buhari also said when the lockdown eases and movements continue, anyone seen in public must wear face masks and maintain social distancing.

“Furthermore, the restrictions of on social and religious gathers shall remain in place. State Governments, corporate organisations and philanthropists are encouraged to support the production of cloth masks for citizens,” he said.

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