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The APC warns lock down vigilance groups against lawlessness

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The All Progressives Congress has warned members of vigilance groups against taking the law into their own hands under the guise of protecting their neighbourhoods against criminals who were taking undue advantage of the COVID-19 lockdown in some states to perpetrate crime.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, gave the warning in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said the APC was aware of the emerging opportunistic crimes that had been recorded in some parts of the country as a result of the coronavirus lockdown and that the crimes “will soon be brought under check.”

 The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had on Monday announced an extension of the two-week long lockdown earlier imposed on Lagos and Ogun states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, as part of measures to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were reports of rising in robberies and looting of shops, especially in Lagos.

 The APC statement read in part, “There is no dispute about the hardship being faced by many citizens as a result of the unavoidable lockdown.

 “However, we must resist criminal elements trying to exploit the situation and, in the process, inflicting further hardships on already stressed fellow Nigerians.

 “In responding to this ugly situation, we would like to caution the various vigilance groups to resist the urge to resort to unlawful and extra-judicial actions in the name of protecting communities.

“There are already disturbing reports of vigilantes terrorising innocent citizens. What we all need now is to offer ourselves support and ensure we provide as much comfort as possible for one another.”

The APC said the key responsibility of government was to ensure the safety and security of lives and property of all citizens.

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