The Nigerian Army has announced plans to enforce movement restrictions and other COVID-19 combative directives by the government.
It will collaborate with sister services including the Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Fire Services and others in curtailing the spread of the virus.
The plan tagged ‘Op-Second Eleven’ was detailed in a memo, sanctioned by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.
The memo, signed by Nigeria Army’s Chief of Policy and Plans, Lt. Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, authorised the closure of schools and training centres, and suspension of all events.
The Army reiterated the preparedness of regular troops alongside medical and engineering corps to enforce the restriction of movement, management and evacuation of the low and risk patients.
HumAngle reports that, thus far, movements have been restricted in Lagos, Abuja, Ekiti and Niger States, although adherence has been low. Nigeria has also closed international borders.
The Army has also activated an internal process to prevent the spread of Coronavirus disease (COVID19) in barracks and other facilities, to prepare troops for deployment to aid civilian authorities combat the pandemic.
The authorities have laid out plans to internally mitigate against the virus. These include temperature checks at entrance gates, provision of sanitizers and reduction in personnel movement, adoption of WhatsApp for formal orders.
It plans to also provide equipment to aid in water, and essential food and drugs supplies and provision of security for all major food stores and government storage facilities.
The memo reads in full:
“Following the rise and continuous spread in cases of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria, the COAS has deemed it necessary for all to take proactive measures to ensure the safety of NA personnel and their families.
“Recall that Reference A circulated under the cover of Reference B highlighted the COAS’ Strategic Directive for the Year 2020 (Sb-2020) as do sustain the professionalism and responsiveness of the NA in the discharge of its constitutional roles”.
“The Sb-2020 which is in line with the COAS’ vision of ”having a professionally responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles” had predicted the possibility of the NA actively getting engaged in Op SECOND ELEVEN in the course of the Year.
“With the continuous spread of the Coronavirus, the Government calling out the NA for Op SECOND ELEVEN can therefore not be ruled out. In view of the foregoing, I am directed to convey that the following measures be instituted by commanders at all levels.
“Suspension of implementation of the NA Forecast of Events 2020 involving large gatherings such as meetings, briefings, and conferences.
“Suspension of all foreign courses, conferences, seminars and other overseas trips by personnel.
“Suspension of all physical debriefings of returnees from foreign courses and official assignments. Such are to be done online.
“Closing of all NA schools and training centres.
“Closing hours for all NA formations and units to be 1600 hrs except lof 6.
“Suspension of assembly date for participants of Army War College Course 4/20.
“Planning on the lease of excavators, trucks, water tankers and other relevant vehicles to aid Op SECOND ELEVEN in the area of possible mass burial, water, and essential food/drugs supplies, forceful transfer of the sick to hospitals, enforcement of government movement restriction order, etc.
“Planning to secure all major food stores and government storage facilities for essential goods from looting.
“Coordination with sister Services, Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Fire Services and others on enforcing a restriction on movements and other directives by the Government.
“Acquisition of protective gear for medical and other personnel that would be involved in the management of the sick, evacuation and burial of the dead, etc.
“Drastic reduction in movements of personnel within all headquarters to the barest minimum.
“Drastic reduction in the number of visitors and the frequency of visits to all NA establishments.
“Creation of WhatsApp groups by departments, cells, and a group of related workers to pass information and instructions.
“Carrying of files from one office to the other should be replaced with the maximum use of NASIP and NAWANI.
“Initiating and subjecting all personnel to temperature checks at entrance gates.
“Making available hand sanitizers at strategic locations within the headquarters for easy access and use by personnel.
“Personnel are to avoid placing their hands on staircase rails.
“Personnel are to ensure they wash their hands regularly and thoroughly.
“Personal hygiene at home must be taken seriously.
“Anyone who notices any symptoms associated with the COVID 19 is to immediately report to the nearest military medical post for the check.
“Additionally, I am to convey the immediate suspension of all leave and passes. All NA personnel are to be on maximum security alert and be ready for deployment as may be required.”