The Lagos State Police command had denied a statement credited to Nigeria Medical Association, Lagos State accusing the Police of restricting the movement of its members even as it described the statement as completely false and misleading.
According to a statement issued in reaction to the alleged harassment by the command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, it was on record that the restriction of movement order that took effect from Monday 30th March, 2020 did not apply to hospitals and all related medical establishments as well as organizations in health care related manufacturing and distribution.
The statement further recalled that Commercial establishments such as; food processing, distribution and retail companies, petroleum distribution and retail entities, power generation, transmission and distribution companies, private security companies were also exempted adding that workers in telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print and electronic media staff who could prove they were unable to work from home were also exempted.
It added that Banks were allowed to render skeletal services even as it also said that “although these establishments are exempted, access will be restricted and monitored.”
While maintaining that personnel deployed for the enforcement exercise were fully briefed by the Commissioner of Police Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, the statement observed that every Police Station was issued copies of the Presidential directives and extant laws for guidance.
“The CP charged Police officers to be professional. He urged them to carry out their assignment with compassion and respect the rights of citizens.
“The Commissioner of Police personally went round to monitor compliance across the State. Reports received from Area Commanders, Divisional Police Officers and officers from the field shows a high level of compliance. Few cases recorded have to do with some individuals intercepted on the roads who claimed to fall under the categories of persons exempted but turned out to be false.
“Some could not provide any means of identification while others who actually belong to the professions mentioned were hiding under the cover to carry out their private businesses. An example is a medical doctor serving in another state but on annual leave in Lagos State, intercepted with three other passengers in his car going on private mission. A Police Inspector was also arrested with two passengers in his vehicle going on a private assignment in total violation of the restriction order.
“It is pertinent to state that the exemption given to certain categories of persons is not absolute. The order states that, ‘Although these establishments are exempted, access will be restricted and monitored’. To ensure that persons who are not on essential duties are restricted, the command insists that apart from occupational ID card, there must also be a document to prove that the person is on duty.
“The command appreciates the daunting task ahead of all of us who are in the frontlines in curbing this pandemic, especially our medical and health workers. The relationship between the Police and other professional bodies especially the NMA remains cordial. There is no time that we need each other than now. The nation depends so much on us in a time like this.
“For information or complaints regarding non-compliance, call the following numbers 09010512285, 09010512286, 09010512287 and 09010512288”, the statement said.
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