By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has condemned the reported extrajudicial killings in several parts of the country by security agencies enforcing the lockdown ordered by the Federal Government and some states of the federation to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ekweremadu, who is also a member of the seven-man International Parliamentary Taskforce on COVID-19, made his feelings known in a statement in Abuja on Thursday and called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies to stem the needless killings immediately.
He said: “I am deeply saddened by report from the National Human Rights Commission of the loss of 18 Nigerian lives in the hands of security agents enforcing the lockdown ordered by the Federal Government and various state governments.
“This is most unfortunate and condemnable, especially when we consider that the number of Coronavirus fatalities in the country, stand at 12, as at today.
“I call on President Muhammadu Buhari and the relevant security and government agencies to ensure that the reprehensible acts are thoroughly investigated and the culprits brought to book. We must ensure that law enforcement agents do not turn their weapons against the very citizens they are supposed to protect.
“While the lockdowns and other precautionary measures are very necessary for containing the pandemic, they must be enforced with every sense of professionalism, discipline, restraint, empathy, and above all, with utmost respect for human life, which the lockdowns were put in place to protect in the first place”.
The lawmaker condoled with families that lost their loved ones and prayed God to grant the deceased eternal repose