The Federal Capital Territory Administration has proscribed streets protests because of the violation of the COVID-19 safety protocols which were put in place to safeguard the lives of citizens.
The decision was made at the routine meeting of the FCT Security Committee today October 13, 2020, to review the security situation in the Federal Capital Territory with a view to addressing identified challenges.
The Committee noted with satisfaction the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Inspector-General of Police to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, as well as other reforms aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the Nigeria Police but observed that the non-observance of social distancing endangers the lives of not just the demonstrators, but also other citizens going about their legitimate concerns.
The press release signed by the chief press secretary to the FCT Minister, Anthony Ogunleye, read in part:
“For the avoidance of doubt, the COVID-19 guidelines regulating public gatherings recommend physical distancing, temperature checks, the use of facial coverings, amongst others.
“Clearly all these guidelines were flouted by the protesters.
“Consequently, the Committee directs that due to the dangers posed by COVID-19, all street demonstrations, protests and processions will not be allowed anywhere within the FCT.”
The Committee also noted the progress being made in the fight against robberies in illegal and unregistered, commercial motor vehicles known as “one chance” and is committed to the introduction of innovative measures that will ensure the safety of commuters.
It advised commuters to continue to exercise caution and remain vigilant while boarding commercial vehicles.
The Committee also noted with satisfaction the successful re-opening of schools after the forced closure due to COVID-19. It, however, called on parents, students and school authorities to continue to comply with the extant COVID-19 safety protocols.