By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged security agencies to maintain utmost vigilance, firmness and restraint in enforcing restriction orders in the country.
Buhari urged them to exercise restraint while not neglecting statutory security responsibilities.
The president had, on Monday in a broadcast, extended the current restriction of movement in Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) by another 14 days to curb the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.
Buhari, however, noted with delight that the security agencies had risen to the challenges posed by the deadly virus.
“The security agencies have risen to the challenges posed by this unprecedented situation with gallantry and I commend them.
“I urge them to continue to maintain utmost vigilance, firmness as well as restraint in enforcing the restriction orders while not neglecting statutory security responsibilities,’’ he said.
He charged all citizens to always follow the instructions on social distancing as the irresponsibility of the few could lead to the death of the many, saying “Your freedom ends where other people’s rights begin’’.
The president also described the response of State Governors in the ongoing fight against the spread of the virus as “particularly impressive’’, especially in aligning their policies and actions to those of the Federal Government.
He said: “In the coming weeks, I want to assure you that the Federal Government, through the Presidential Task Force, will do whatever it takes to support you in this very difficult period.
“I have no doubt that, by working together and carefully following the rules, we shall get over this pandemic.’’
He also thanked the legislative arm of government for all its support and donations meant to combat the deadly virus.
According to him, this collaboration is critical to the short and long-term success of all the measures that have been instituted in response to the pandemic.
“As a result of this pandemic, the world as we know it has changed. The way we interact with each other, conduct our businesses and trade, travel, educate our children and earn our livelihoods will be different.
“To ensure our economy adapts to this new reality, I am directing the Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investment, Communication and Digital Economy, Science and Technology, Transportation, Aviation, Interior, Health, Works and Housing, Labour and Employment, and Education to jointly develop a comprehensive policy for a “Nigerian economy functioning with COVID-19”.
“The Ministers will be supported by the Presidential Economic Advisory Council and Economic Sustainability Committee in executing this mandate,’’ he said.
The president also directed the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, the National Security Adviser, the Vice Chairman, National Food Security Council and the Chairman, Presidential Fertiliser Initiative, to work with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to ensure the impact of COVID-19 on 2020 farming season is minimised.
He thanked the members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 for all their hard work so far, adding that the patriotism they had shown in the conduct of their work is exemplary and highly commendable.