Buhari bows to pressure, issues COVID-19 regulations

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday views to pressure from a lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, by issuing regulations backing government’s actions on COVID-19.

Effiong had kicked against the lockdown of Lagos and Ogun states as well as the Federal Capital Territory as ordered by Buhari I a speech on Sunday night, describing it as “unconstitutional.”

He had also threatened to go to court over the matter.

However, Buhari ignored the trenchant criticisms thrown at Effiong and wet ahead to issue necessary regulations describing COVID-19 as a “dangerous Infectious disease.”

A statement to that effect reads: “In exercise of the powers conferred on him by Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Quarantine Act (CAP Q2 LFN 2004), and all other powers enabling him in that behalf, President @MBuhari, Monday, signed the #Covid-19 Regulations, 2020, which declared Covid-19 a dangerous infectious disease.

“The Regulations, effective March 30, 2020, also gave legal backing to the various measures outlined in the President’s National Broadcast on March 29, 2020, such as Restriction/Cessation of Movement in Lagos, FCT and Ogun State ..:and others toward containing the spread of the pandemic in the country.

“In addition, to ensure that Nigerians can still perform on-line transactions and use ATMs whilst observing these restrictions, exemption is granted financial system and money markets to allow very skeletal operations …in order to keep the system in light operations during the pendency of these regulations.”

Reacting to the development, Effiong said on Twitter that he had been “vindicated.”

He said: “PRESIDENT BUHARI HAS VINDICATED ME

In my six years as a lawyer, I have NEVER faced public attack and insults over my views on a legal matter the way I was attacked and insulted for leading a strong campaign for President Buhari to follow the rule of law in tackling COVID-19.

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“All over social media, people insulted me and my family just for doing what I believe is my civic duty and for upholding the rule of law as a legal practitioner. In the end, the President vindicated me by issuing regulations as advised pursuant to the Quarantine Act on COVID-19.

“I do not take this as a personal victory. It was never about me. It was about our constitutional democracy. Now that regulations have been issued to back the lockdown, etc, I congratulate all lovers of democracy who stood by what is right even it was not popular to do so.

“I forgive those who attacked and insulted me. I forgive those who called me unprintable names. I forgive those who questioned my knowledge of the law. I hope they will be humble enough to admit their error. I also hope we’ve all learnt appropriate lessons.

May God bless Nigeria.”