By CrossRiverWatch Admin
As the world continues to battle with the novel Corona virus pandemic, the Association of Cross River Online Journalists (ACROJ) wishes to encourage all Cross Riverians and residents in the State to continue to observe all precautionary measure outlined by the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) in other to defeat this common enemy currently ravaging the world.
While we acknowledge the current hardship occasioned by this pandemic, we urge Cross Riverians to cooperate with Government in ensuring strict compliance with basic hygienic procedures that will continue to keep our State free of the virus. We also urge well to do individuals and indeed the State Government to continue to do all they can to cushion the hardship faced by our people.
However, ACROJ has observed with dismay, the anti people and unconstitutional moves and declarations made by the State Government in their bid to tackle this pandemic.
Some of which is the illegal arrest, detention, harassment, torture and manhandling of innocent citizens and residents of the State in the name of enforcing the no mask no movement order by the State Governor. We also frown at the directive given by the State Government to impound vehicles of defaulters of this illegal directive until the payment of a whopping N300, 000 only.
ACROJ wishes to reiterate that the Governor’s directive has no legal back up either in the Cross River State laws or in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Therefore, such directive is baseless.
At a time like this, where responsible Government all over the world are taking measure to mitigate the sufferings of it’s citizens, one wonders why the Cross River State Government is busy making profit off its people. Can this be a Government for the people?
Why directives should be given to security agents to impound vehicles even after arresting individual, until after the payment of N300, 000. Are vehicles suppose to also wear mask?
At a time where the whole world is under painful economic siege and the economic curves of several nations all over the world pointing downwards, such directive should not even be imagined by any responsible Government.
ACROJ therefore, calls on the State Government to immediately order all security agents and volunteers to refrain from further harassment, torture and extortion of the people and rather encourage them to use tact, love and professionalism in carrying out this instruction. They must rather appeal to the consciences of the masses and not embarrass them.
We wish to inform the State Government that, where nothing is done about this, ACROJ will immediately proceed to publish both pictures and videos of harassment, molestation, tortures and other inhuman treatment meted out to Cross Riverians and residents by agents of this Government.
We will also not fail to activate all our national and international partners including media and civil society organizations to launch a campaign against what is happening in the State, thereby, once again, putting the State Government in bad light before the international community.
We will also not fail to take legal action against the State if nothing is done about this.
ACROJ will continue to play a pivotal role in the shaping of a new and better Cross River State where the rights of citizens and residents shall come first.
Comrade Edem Darlington,
Comrade Jeremaih Archibong,
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