Following the backlash that greeted his directive that journalists and other essential workers were no longer exempted from the ban on interstate movement and nationwide curfew, the IG yesterday ordered Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs) and Commissioners of Police (CPs) to give maximum effect to the presidential directive on the exemption of workers on essential service.
He said medical personnel, journalists, firefighters among others on essential services remain exempted from the lockdown rules.
A statement issued by the Police Force Headquarters, Abuja said the IG ordered the police managers to ensure compliance with the presidential directive on restriction of inter-state movement with a specific charge to allow essential service workers to proceed without restriction.
“Following unending inquiries on the status of essential workers in respect of the due enforcement of the national curfew and inter-state movement restriction orders emplaced by the federal government, it has become necessary to clear all ambiguity on the position of the Nigeria Police Force especially as it relates to persons on essential duties.
“The Force wishes to state that it is not oblivious of the sensitive, indispensable, patriotic and frontline role of the nation’s workforce that falls within the category of Essential Service Providers particularly as it relates to efforts to curtail and contain the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said.
The statement signed by the Force PRO and Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Mr. Frank Mba, clarified: “All essential workers including medical personnel, ambulance service providers, journalists, firefighters, etc remain exempted from the movement restriction orders as well as the national curfew.”
“Consequently, the Inspector General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu has directed Zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police and State Command Commissioners of Police to give maximum effect to these orders and extend due courtesies to essential service providers so affected and also ensure that personnel deployed for the enforcement duties respect the fundamental rights of the citizens.”
It said the IG urged all workers who fall within these categories not to take undue advantage of their positions and privileges to advance other purposes not connected with the performance of their duties within the stated period.
Mustapha and Mohammed had on Tuesday determined the issue of essential workers.
Director of Communications at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of Federation (OSGF), Mr. Willie Bassey, told THISDAY yesterday that Mustapha, who incidentally is the Chairman of the PTF, stayed awake from Tuesday till early yesterday morning to read all the complaints filed by the journalists.
Bassey said that the SGF had noted all the grouses listed by the journalists and had referred all the complaints to the police authority for them to recognise that as essential workers, journalists, with valid means of identification are to be exempted from the presidential order imposing a curfew.