Nigeria’s Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, has rose in defense of two weeks restriction placed on movement by his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, following spike in recorded cases of coronavirus in the country, saying the directive remain legal and crucial to the government fight against the deadly virus.
He explained that the clarification had become imperative following outrage which greeted the presidential order in some quarters and were questioning its legality for restricting movement in Lagos, Ogun and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, adding that such step was proactive and backed by extant Nigerian laws.
Osinbajo noted that since the restriction period was meant to identify, trace and isolate all individuals that had come into contact with confirmed cases, ensure treatment of confirmed cases while restricting further spread to other states, those who are criticizing the order are only ignorant of the Quarantine Act.
The Vice President, through a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, on Tuesday, explained that the law backing the order were contained in the Quarantine Act of 1926, which had been published in all edition of the Laws of Nigeria, adding that the law allows the President to take such drastic action following health threats posed by the pestilence.
“Regarding the legality of the shutdowns announced by the president on Sunday, I think it is entirely legal; these steps are proactive, very relevant; important and backed by law. I am not so sure some of the people who have commented on the issue have come across the Quarantine Act. There is a Quarantine Act of 1926; it is been published in all of the Laws of Nigeria, every edition of the Laws of Nigeria, it is there.
“What the Act does is that it allows the president to designate any local area, any part of the country, as a place that may be infected or under the threat of a communicable disease, and he can then make regulations of any kind.
“For instance, he can say, people should not go out; no public gatherings among others; so, it is a regulation that gives the president powers and these powers come from the National Assembly because, of course, it is an act of the National Assembly,” the statement said.