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COVID-19: Military to lead enforcement of 14-day curfew of Abuja, Lagos, Ogun

The Armed Forces of Nigeria on Monday announced that it is to fully implement all restriction on movement in line directive given by President Muhammadu Buhari during his Sunday night broadcast to the nation on the Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic.

President Buhari had said that effective 11pm Monday night, the federal government would implement a 14-day curfew of Lagos and Ogun States and the Federal Capital Territory as a way of containing the spread of the virus.

Coordinator of Defence Media Operations (CDMO), Major General John Enenche, told journalists in Abuja that apart form the lockdown of the nation’s commercial and national capital of Lagos and Abuja, alongside Ogun State, all other inter-State and inter-city movements are to be restricted to prevent further spread.

In addition, all citizens in the two States and the FCT are advised to stay in their homes as all businesses and offices within these locations should be fully closed during this period.

General Enenche said that in carrying out this national duty, “the High Command of Nigerian Military hereby solicit for the support of the general public in this trying period of the fight against COVID 19. This can be achieved by adhering to all the medical and administrative guidelines being provided by government at all levels.”

Hinting that the military would be the lead institution in tackling issues around containing the spread of the virus, Enenche said that “a Committee headed by the Chief of Defence Training and Operations is in place interfacing with all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria managing the COVID 19 Pandemic.”

He added that while the military would ensure full compliance with all directives aimed at making Nigeria safe from the virus, it would hand over anyone apprehended for flouting the lockdown order to the Police for investigations and possible prosecution.

Stating that about 48 Disaster Response Units of the Armed Forces of Nigeria are on Notice To Move (NTM) in conjunction with officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Defence Media Coordinator explained that this units will handle operations other than medicals that may arise in the course of this non kinetic military operation aimed at maintaining law and order at all times all through the nation.

He also gave details of the 17 military hospitals that will serve as COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres.

They include two (68 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Yaba and 2 Division Hospital, Ibadan) in the Southwest, Military Hospital, Port Harcourt, Navy Reference Hospital, Calabar and Military Hospital, Benin in South South; and 211 Regiment Group Medical Centre, Owerri and 82 Division Military Hospital, Enugu for the South East.

Others include the 161 Nigerian Air Force Hospital, Makurdi and the 22 Brigade Medical Centre, Ilorin in the North Central, 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna, 465 Nigerian Air Force Hospital, Kano, 263 Nigerian Air Force Reference Hospital, Daura and the 119 Composite Group Medical Centre, Sokoto in the North West.

The other is the four in the North East – 261 Nigerian Air Force Reference Hospital, Bauchi, the 163 Nigerian Air Force Hospital, Yola, 7 Division Military Hospital, Maiduguri and the 27 Task Force Brigade Field Ambulance, Damaturu.

General Enenche also said that “a good number of Armed Forces of Nigerian medical personnel have been earmarked to be trained on the management of COVID 19 cases, which will be done in liaison with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).”

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