The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has given a directive to all Assistant Inspector Generals and Police Commissioners to ensure strict compliance with the use of face masks and other COVID-19 precautionary measures.
The IGP gave the directive in a statement by the police spokesperson, Frank Mba, on Monday.
President Muhammadu Buhari had recently signed the COVID-19 Health Protection Bill 2021 making the use of face masks in public places mandatory, among other measures to curtail the further spread of pandemic.
The president signed the document in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010.
Part 1 of regulation, which deals with restrictions on gatherings, stipulates that at all gatherings, a physical distance of at least two metres shall be maintained at all times between persons.
The Part 2 of the regulation stipulates that no person, without masks, shall be allowed within the premises of a market, mall, supermarket, shop, restaurants, hotels, event centres, gardens, leisure parks, recreation centres, motor parks, fitness centre or any other similar establishment.
It, however, stated that an exemption is when the person “is wearing a face covering that covers the nose and mouth, he washes his hands or cleaned the hands using hand sanitiser approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, and his body temperature has been checked.”
According to the order, persons found to have a body temperature above 38 degrees Celsius shall be denied entry and advised to immediately leave for medical attention.
‘Ensure strict compliance’
The IGP directed that compliance must be ensured across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
While urging Nigerians to be compliant with the law, he however cautioned the officers to be polite and professional and also should not breach the fundamental human rights of citizens.
“The Inspector General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has ordered the Assistant Inspectors General of Police in the seventeen (17) zonal commands and their constituent Commissioners of Police in the thirty-six (36) States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, to carry out full enforcement of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulations 2021 signed into law by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on 26th January, 2021..
“They are to ensure full compliance with the Regulations in their respective Areas of Responsibilities (AoR).
“The IGP gave the order to the Strategic Police Managers following the directives by the President as contained in the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulations 2021 which mandates the Nigeria Police Force and other agencies of Government mentioned therein to ensure full enforcement of the Regulations in public places – places of worship, workplace and schools, banks, public transport vehicles, hostels, boarding houses, detention centres, etc – and general restrictions on gatherings as well as the use of face mask.
“The IGP, while noting that the uncertainty and risks engendered by the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic have placed additional responsibilities on the general public, calls on citizens to voluntarily comply with the provisions of the Regulations for the safety of all.
“The IGP further cautions officers enforcing the regulations to show tact, compassion and empathy with the citizens. He reiterates that the officers must be firm and professional and at the same time remain polite, civil and respect the fundamental rights of the citizens,” the statement read.
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