Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Breaking News: FCTA bans street protest in Abuja

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The FCT Administration has banned all forms of protest in the territory due to  the wanton violation  of COVID-19 safety protocols by protesters in recent times. 

A statement from the Chief Press Secretary of the FCTA, Anthony Ogunleye, said the decision became necessary due to the dangers posed by activities of protesters and the manner of demonstrations which are in complete violation of the COVID-19 safety protocols put in place to safeguard the lives of citizens.

Ogunleye said the decision was reached at the end of the routine FCT Security Committee chaired by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello.

The Administration  insist that the ban is in line with  COVID-19 protocols regulating public gatherings and recommending physical distancing among other safety measures which have been severally disregarded by protesters. 

The committee regrets that despite the pronouncement by the Inspector General of Police scrapping the FSARS, the #ENDSARS protests continued in parts of the Territory causing inconveniences to law abiding citizens.

"While the Committee recognizes the rights of citizens as regards freedom of association and movement as enshrined in the constitution, it has observed that the unruly conduct of the crowd and manner of demonstrations are in complete violation of the COVID-19 safety protocols which were put in place to safeguard the lives of citizens.

 

"These violations endanger the lives of not just the demonstrators, but also other citizens going about their legitimate concerns.

"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."

The committee consequently 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 however advises commuters to continue to exercise  caution and remain vigilant while boarding commercial vehicles.

The Security Committee reiterated the commitment of the FCT Administration to ensure that all residents are safe, secure and able to go about their lawful businesses without fear of intimidation or harassment.

The meeting had in attendance,   the Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Mr Olusade Adesola,  heads of the various security agencies and military formations in the FCT, senior members of staff of the FCTA, representatives of religious and traditional institutions as well as Area Council Chairmen.

 

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