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Policemen enforcing interstate closure lament non-provision of PPE

Raphael Ede, Enugu

Personnel of the Enugu State Police Command enforcing interstate boundary closure as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have decried the non-provision of personal protective for them.

Our correspondent, who monitored some checkpoints at the Enugu-Abakaliki border on Wednesday, reports that only few operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps wore face masks among the joint security operatives.

PUNCH Metro gathered that there were no hand sanitisers and infrared thermometers for checking the temperature of motorists entering the state from the neighbouring Ebonyi State.

A senior police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that their superiors did not provide them with any personal protective equipment, a situation he lamented had exposed them and their family members to the risk of contracting the virus.

The Enugu State Government had on Wednesday confirmed a new case of COVID-19 in the state, bringing the cases recorded in the state to three.

Meanwhile, soldiers at Sejin by the Nbolu-Owo junction checkpoint have turned the boundary closure into an avenue for making money as drivers of articulated vehicles conveying food items are forced to pay between N500 and N1,000 before they are allowed to pass.

Our correspondent, who was held in gridlock for over 30 minutes before he was allowed to pass through the checkpoint, reported that all truck drivers conveying chipping stones and mini-bus drivers paid before they were allowed to drive through the checkpoint.

A truck driver, Chigozie Okoye, told PUNCH Metro that since the state introduced the partial lockdown and interstate boundary closure, “Once you are conveying chipping stones from Ebonyi to Enugu, you pay N500 or N1,000 before you can pass through the checkpoint. It is no longer news my brother, because they collect it openly.”

Another driver, Eze Chijioke, said, “We pay the money to pass otherwise one could be delayed for hours.”

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Daniel Ndukwe, did not answer his calls as his phone rang out.

Also, when the Human Right Desk Officer of the Nigerian Army, 82 Division, Aroma Ekrika, was contacted on the telephone, his phone indicated that it was unreachable.

He had also not responded to a text message sent to his verified mobile phone number as of the time of filing this report.

-Punch

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Posted by on Apr 30 2020. Filed under Headlines, Nigerian Police. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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