Nigerian security forces have reportedly killed 18 people while attempting to enforce coronavirus rules while the disease has only claimed 12 lives so far. The country's very own National Human Rights Commission has said that 18 people have already died in 'extra-judicial killings' in over eight separate incidents.
According to the commission, this movement is a sheer display of impunity and is nothing but a "reckless disregard for human life in law enforcement by security personnel."
The coronavirus has so far only claimed the lives of 12 people out of the total 407 confirmed cases. The outbreak has already sent the capital Abuja as well as the megacity of Lagos into lockdown.
Social media is outraged with the death ratio from authorities versus the death ratio from the coronavirus itself.
While Covid-19 has so far killed 12 persons in Nigeria, according to data from the NCDC, security operatives meant to enforce the lockdown have killed 18 people in Nigeria, NHRC said in a report. So is the medicine not killing the patient?
I believe we can do better as a Nation. — Dr Charles Omole (@DrCOmole) April 16, 2020
The human rights commission on this matter
The human rights commission allegedly claims that the very Nigeria Correctional Service was responsible for eight of the separate killings while the Nigeria Police Force was responsible for seven. The Nigerian Army was reported to be behind two while the Ebonyi State Task Force was responsible for one.
Further details were not released as to the circumstances in which the 18 people were killed. The other 'violations' include about 33 alleged incidents of torture or other inhumane and also degrading treatment according to the report.
Reports of unlawful arrests also started to surface along with 19 incidents of seizure of property as well as 13 examples of extortion according to the allegations. The commission then accused the security forces for violating human rights by saying they used "excessive or disproportionate use of force, abuse of power, corruption and [no] adherence to international and national human rights laws."
The National police on the matter
Frank Mba, the National police spokesperson, said that these allegations were "too general" stating that the commission should have given substantial details as to the killings and other inappropriate actions in order for them to take appropriate actions.
The spokesperson assured that the police will enforce the lockdown measures "professionally and in line with international best practices," continuing that the police authorities themselves do not condone this type of behavior.
It was also stated that they have recently punished an officer for extorting money from a civilian and the money was refunded.
The lockdown in Lagos, Abuja, and also the state of Ogun have all began last two weeks on March 30 due to the growing coronavirus cases. Along with the announcement of the extension, President Muhammadu Buhari has said that there have been an increase in cases.
The president then explained that the results of prematurely ending the lockdown are unimaginable.
Nigeria's situation and social media's reaction
Nigeria is populated with over 200 million people and is considered Africa's most populous nation. In the megacity of Lagos alone, there are already about 20 million residents.
The government of Lagos has already been distributing food packages to about 200,000 of the most vulnerable state households and also plans to double the aid. Reports of fires, small riots, and even armed robberies have been surfacing as people are left without work.
Reports from different parts of Lagos about attacks on citizens & them turning to vigilantes during this lockdown...there are whispers of an extension...things are getting dire even as this virus is yet to peak in Nigeria. Pls look into it Governor @jidesanwoolu. God bless you. pic.twitter.com/PV6IslZsj3 — Kate Henshaw (@HenshawKate) April 12, 2020
There have been multiple tweets that show the distaste of concerned individuals regarding the situation.