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COVID-19: FCT security committee bans street demonstration

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FCT Minister lauds journalists, information officers over accurate reportage

The FCT Security Committee says due to the dangers posed by COVID-19, all street demonstrations, protests and processions will not be allowed anywhere within the territory.

The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello made this known in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Anthony Ogunleye, on Thursday in Abuja.

Bello explained that the ban on all forms of protests was part of the resolution of the routine security meeting held on Tuesday Oct. 13, 2020.

He said the objective of the meeting was to review the security situation in FCT, with a view to address identified challenges.

The minister who chaired the meeting said it was attended by heads of the various security agencies, military formations, senior members of staff of the FCTA, representatives of religious and traditional institutions and Chairmen of Area Councils.

He said that the committee noted with satisfaction the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) as well as other reforms aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of the Nigerian police.

Bello also said that the meeting noted that in response to the directive of the President and the yearnings of the Nigerian people, the IGP has dissolved the SARS across the 36 State Police Commands and the FCT where they hitherto existed.

The minister, however, said that the committee noted with concern that inspite of the pronouncement by the IGP scrapping the FSARS, the #ENDSARS protests continued in parts of the territory.

According to him, the protesters caused inconveniences to law abiding citizens.

”While the committee recognises 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, among 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,” Bello said.

The minister 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.

Salisu Sani-idris

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