Nigeria’s main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the withdrawal of Police personnel attached to the Rivers State COVID-19 Task Force.
The party said the action not only amounted to politicization of the war against the COVID-19 pandemic, but will also impair the state governor, Nyesom Wike’s efforts at curtailing the spread of the virus.
In a statement issued on its verified twitter handle, @OfficialPDPNig, on Tuesday, the party called on the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to immediately restore the affected police officers to the task force.
The statement read: “The PDP asks the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to restore police security attached to the Rivers State Task Force on COVID-19 pandemic. The party stresses that the withdrawal of the police from the Rivers Task Force amounted to politicizing the efforts to check the spread of COVID-19 in our country.
PDP further noted that the withdrawal of the police personnel will only lead to lawlessness as well as frustrate the genuine efforts of the Rivers State Government to ensure compliance to health safety protocols put in place to check the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard the lives of Nigerians in the state.
“Our party acknowledges the efforts of Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, as well as those of other state governors elected on the platform of the PDP to flatten the curve in their respective states even without commensurate support from the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It is our opinion that the order to withdraw security personnel from the task force of Rivers State, or any other state for that matter, is counter-productive and against the overall interest of our nation in this fight against COVID-19. Our party therefore urges the Inspector General of Police to reverse the directive and support efforts by Governor Governor Wike to check the pandemic in Rivers State, particularly as the state is strategic to the economic stability of our nation.”
Scudnews gathered the police had on Tuesday withdrawn its personnel attached to the Rivers State COVID-19 Task Force, citing human rights abuses, a move observers said, may not be unconnected to public outcries that trailed the demolition of two hotels in the state for violating the lockdown imposed to check the spread of coronavirus in the state.
The demolition was supervised by Governor Wike, with the aid of police personnel and other law enforcement agencies. The governor has also been accused of being draconian in enforcing COVID-19 protocols in the state.