Written by Sarah NEGEDU

COVID-19 violation: Banex, Efab Plazas face penalty

The FCT Administration has said it may have no choice but to shut down the popular Banex plaza and EFAB mall at Wuse II and Garki axis of Abuja Municipal Area Council over alleged violation of safety protocols, articulated in the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations, 2021.

Making this disclosure, Head, Media, Enlightenment and Publicity of the FCT COVID-19 Enforcement Task Force, Comrade Ikharo Attah, said the warning was necessary, following the flagrant violation of COVID-19 protocols observed in both plazas.

Attah, who spoke with newsmen shortly after a sitting of the FCT mobile court, observed that both plazas were not having provisions for washing points or temperature machines at their entry points.

He also disclosed that most of the offenders arraigned before the court were picked up from the two plazas.

According to him, the administration would not fold its hands and watch the affected plazas, which seemingly have become notorious spots for offenders, risk the lives of residents of the Territory.

In his words, "We went out on routine patrol where looked we looked at key areas.  We looked at plazas, we looked at the malls and traffic issues and so far 49 arrests were made and brought before the FCT mobile court.

“We got too many people arrested from the EFAB Plaza at Area 11 and Bannex Plaza in Wuse II. These two plazas need to as a matter of extreme urgency, need to put their plazas in order, get all the washing points ready and ensure that those who come into the plaza comply by wearing their face masks.

“Because at the point we are in now, if the plazas do not comply, we are going to be shutting down Bannex Plaza as well as the EFAB plaza if they fail to comply in the shortest time. When we shut down the Wuse market and UTC plaza, there was much outcry and some persons believed we did not give them much warning.

“We are telling them to comply or we will be left with no option than to shut down shut down these two premises that houses a lot of businesses because it is safer to be alive and do business later than to risk getting the virus and probably never get to do one’s business again."

On the increasing number of arrest made daily, Attah attributed the development to COVID fatigue, which may have set in some area, but he assured that the team will not relent on apprehending violators, as the FCTA hasn't asked the taskforce to stop.

“We observe that many people are getting relaxed and we are getting them to understand that the Presidential Executive Order on COVID-19 protocols is very much in place and we in the FCT under the leadership of FCT Minister, Mal. Muhammad Bello, and the Police Commissioner for the FCT, Bala Ciroma, are kin at enforcing and ensuring that it actually works", he stressed.



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