By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Security agents detailed on patrol to instil and enforce compliance with the lockdown order across Niger State are grumbling over lack of motivation and support from the state government.
Enthusiasm amongst the security personnel on patrol have dwindled tremendously as the lockdown order entered it’s eighth day in Niger state following alleged lack of motivation and incentives from the state government.
However, investigations by our correspondent revealed that some of the security personnel on patrol have resorted to extorting money from motorists violating the restriction order as vehicle owners are seen on roads during the sit at home period.
In localities outside the major roads, motorists are unhindered while at evening hours after 5:00pm, road users, mostly commercial motorcyclists are on the road plying with passengers for a fee.
Those who veered onto major roads, meander to beat unmanned road blocks or dared to approach where such road blockades are manned to “settle” and pay their way through.
Efforts to get the reaction of the Chairman of the State’s Taskforce on the Coronavirus disease in the state and Secretary to the State Government, Ahmed Ibrahim Matane was not successful as he refused to pick calls made to his phone line.
The situation in council areas outside the state capital according to findings by our correspondent is even worst. The lockdown order is not well observed.
The Taskforce had at the beginning of the week, charged council Chairmen across the twenty five council areas of the state to ensure compliance with the lockdown order over fears of the spread of the deadly Coronavirus.
Few of the security personnel who volunteered to speak, said their morale was dampened by the lack of motivation from the state government hence their lukewarmness and lackadaisical approach to their work.
The situation according to one of the police men on patrol is made worst by the closure of all shops hence they cannot buy even water to drink nor any confectionary to eat as they work to enforce the lockdown order.
In another development, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, (AEDC) has increased hours of public power supply as consumers of electricity in Minna have, for two days been enjoying six unbroken hours of electricity supply in the morning hours and another six hours at nights daily.
The state governor, Abubakar Sani Bello had directed that the company should ensure at least eighteen hours of supply of electricity to consumers on the public grid during the lockdown.
The state government had slammed down a twelve hours lockdown order between 10:00am to 12:00 midnight every day while a further stringent measures were reeled out this Thursday as the state government announced closure of all the gateways to the state to stem the spread of the deadly Coronavirus in the state.