The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, is wondering why Buhari has refused to place travel Ban and address Nigerians on Coronavirus.
HURIWA urged civil rights bodies and Nigerians of means to institute a fundamental rights enforcement processes against the Federal government at the Federal High Court to obtain declaratory orders mandating “Buhari to personally address the nation, close the land borders and impose strict travel bans” for people coming in from jurisdictions with unprecedented cases of the new pandemic.
In a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, the prominent civil rights advocacy group described as “mass suicidal” tendency of government’s deliberate failure to take concrete actions to “stave off and contain the spread” of the coronavirus in the country.
“The Right to life is sacrosanct and inalienable but it is one of the first generation rights that can not be recovered the moment the citizen is dead. This is the time to use all lawful means to force President Muhammadu Buhari to embrace responsible, responsive and receptive political approach to confront the biggest health emergency the World has seen in the last 100 years.
“We totally condemn the poor attitudes of the federal government; President Muhammadu Buhari particularly and the painful non-challant tendencies of virtually all the key federal and state governmental officials who are behaving as if they are paid to allow the coronavirus to become widespread in the country before any concrete measures can be adopted. This attitude is at best the type you see in persons who are bent on embarking on “mass suicides.
“Why will the federal government insist on allowing all kinds of travels into Nigeria even from nations whereby the unfortunate pandemic is more widespread? Why take such insensitive, reckless and irrational step when even developed societies with the best of technologies and medical facilities in Europe, America, and Australia have imposed one type of restrictions on travels or the other? This is outrageous and outrightly despicable.
“As a matter of fact, it is a manifestation of a lack of leadership that till now, the current president has not thought it wise to personally address Nigeria. This is scandalous. Nations like Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Ghana, and Senegal amongst others have had their presidents actively take the driving seats in the fight against coronavirus but in Nigeria it is as if we are political orphans. Nigerian President may have to be compelled by court orders to speak to Nigerians.
“The Federal Government says it has no plans to impose travel restrictions on visitors from countries where coronavirus continues to spread rapidly. This piece of information as far as HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) is concerned is insanely irrational to have been made by our government at this perilous time of coronavirus. HURIWA believes that the decision by Nigeria to casually screen visitors entering the country from China (where the disease originated last year), Japan, Iran, Italy, Germany, France, South Korea and Spain is a national scandal and a monumental disgrace. This current suicidal government must be called to order immediately. Nigerians must speak out so we are not led astray by a rudderless government .
“HURIWA heard that whilst addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday, the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnibe Mamora, said the FG decided to screen visitors from the eight countries after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. This is a grave error of judgment which must be reversed and the most stringent travel ban imposed
“Is Mr President listening and is he unaware that South Africa has barred some foreigners from entering and will close schools; European Union states including Germany, Austria and France are among the latest to announce radical action to curb the spread of the virus; against all but essential travel to Spain after the government there announced emergency restrictions; the Foreign Office has issued the same advice for the United States of America, effective from Tuesday morning after President Trump decided to extend a European travel ban to include the UK; Airlines warned the UK’s aviation industry may not survive the pandemic without emergency financial support; And about 600 Britons are among passengers stranded on a Fred Olsen cruise ship in the Bahamas after five people on board tested positive for the virus. The company said all onboard bars and restaurants are still open and passengers had been given a “complimentary all-inclusive drinks package.” Is President Muhammadu Buhari not aware of all these strong steps taken by civilised societies?”