President Muhammadu Buhari has been asked to reverse the order of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) on the movement of agricultural produce, livestock, goods and services in Rivers State.
The call was made on Saturday by the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, which noted that the IGP had set up a Joint Technical Task Force at the instance of the Federal Ministries of Agricultural and Rural Development, Defence, Environment as well as various security agencies, to ensure free and unhindered movement of food, livestock, agricultural inputs and others into the State.
The State Chairman of the Council, King Dandeson Jaja, speaking on behalf of the council in Port Harcourt wondered why the IGP would unilaterally lift the ban on the Presidential order restricting interstate movement of trucks and other vehicles not on essential duties.
The Council further expressed fears that the action of the Inspector-General of Police was a threat to the health of the people of Rivers at a time of the pandemic.
“We fear that even if the intention was to ensure movement of food, livestock and agricultural equipment, the process could also encourage massive influx of possible bandits, terrorists and COVID-19 infected persons to endanger the lives of our people,’ Jaja stated.
“Even if it is a national policy, it should not begin with Rivers State, as we are not the most under-nourished state in Nigeria. We feel deeply concerned as the entire episode is hasty and appears to be terminally targeted at our people.
“We seek Mr President’s intervention to lift the threat and save the lives of our people, as COVID-19 pandemic does not discriminate between gender, class, ethnic group, creed or social status.” the Council requested.