TOWARDS CURBING CRUELTY IN RIVERS STATE TASK FORCE.
In the light of efforts of the state to curb the spread of COVID-19, the attention of the governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike is hereby drawn to the excessive tout-grade high handedness and unwarranted malfeasance exhibited by the state task force in their interaction with civilians in the course of execution of their duties as seen at the Creek Road market in Rivers state.
It is a known fact as exemplified by many western nations fighting COVID 19, that without the basic palliatives for survival amidst the raging multi-dimensional poverty in Nigeria, many of the masses who are petty traders and low-income earners in the state become chronically susceptible to hunger-virus – a much deadlier pandemic than the Coronavirus. Thus, given the absence of a substantive relief package in the state, it is only rational to find people risk their lives in search of food for their family.
The resort to outright destruction of the means of livelihood of defaulting traders by the men of the state task force, in a bid to enforce the sit-at-home order is utterly condemnable as outright incivility and injustice. While this plea in no way encourages people to defy government orders, it solicits for the employment of better strategies to dispel defaulters such as rotational trading and in extreme cases, fine payment, suspension and temporary confiscation rather than render them economically incapacitated by destroying their goods.
Times are hard and the commendable proactiveness of His excellency must not be soiled with uncivil and counterproductive hyperactiveness.
This notice is in hopes of a better suitable balance between managing the spread of the coronavirus and the spread of hunger in Rivers state and in Nigeria.