By Joseph Erunke
THE African Centre for Justice and Human Rights,ACJHR, has appealed to the federal government to immediately stop the ongoing National Identification Number, NIN registration, following the surging crowds at designated registration points.
The organisation,in a statement, urged the government to extend NIN/SIM registration linkup to avoid the spread of the new deadly disease at crowded NIN registration centres.
“We observed with regrets the daily significant increase in infections by COVID-19 being recorded in Nigeria as being released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC),” it said in the statement by its Executive Director,Barr. Nduka-Edede Chinwendu.
“The centre also notes that a huge number of the nation’s citizens are being infected daily while joining crowds in their various states across the country to register for the National Identity Number (NIN) being carried out by the Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC),” the statement added.
It read further: “The ACJHR is of the view that the further spread of COVID-19 can be curtailed if the Federal Government rises up to its duty of protecting lives.
“There is no doubt that the lives of helpless Nigerians who are joining huge crowd daily in their bid to get registered are being exposed to the dreaded virus.
“Lack of crowd control has so far characterised the ongoing exercise nationwide, therefore making social distancing which is one of the major non-pharmaceutical measures recommended to curtail the spread of the virus practically impossible.
“It is a national shame to continue to see pictures and videos of crowds besieging registration centres at a time the same government is asking citizens to stay at home and avoid gatherings.
“It is clear that more Nigerians are being infected daily from the registration centres.
“The ACJHR therefore calls on the Federal Government to stop the ongoing registration if indeed it is serious with its acclaimed commitment to curtailing the spread of the virus.
“We shall henceforth hold the government responsible for any further increase in the number of infections in the country if it fails to stop the exercise forthwith.”