In a bid to prevent the wide spread of the Ebola virus disease, The National Human Rights Commission has said it will ensure that appropriate punishment is imposed on persons, particularly private school proprietors, who flout the Federal Government’s directive that schools should remain shut till October 13.

The NHRCsaid flouting the directive by government, which was aimed at preventing a further spread of the Ebola Virus Disease, would be viewed as “a violation of peoples’ rights” which the commission had the mandate to protect.

Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Prof. Bem Angwe, issued this threat in Abuja on Wednesday, during an awareness programme it organised on ‘the rights of People Living with HIV/AIDS’.

Angwe said the commission would recommend anybody who flouted the directive of the Federal Government on the closure of schools before October 13 for prosecution.

He said, “First and foremost, we are issuing an advisory or a directive, advising Federal Ministry of Education and all Ministries of Education to ensure that schools comply.
“Where we receive a report of any particular school reopening before that day, once it is brought to our attention, we will put in place the requisite machinery that will ensure that such authorities or that person responsible for the reopening of that school is prosecuted.”

Angwe, who identified stigmatisation of people living with HIV/AIDS as one of the greatest challenges in addressing the scourge, said the commission would do everything possible to protect the rights of the affected people.

“When some of these people are discriminated against, they go into hiding and then infect others with the disease,” he said.

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