FCT prosecutes 45 newly arrested COVID-19 protocol violators
Cyril Mbah, Abuja.
Another set of 45 persons have been prosecuted by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Task Force on the enforcement of COVID-19 prevention protocols for violating the guidelines specified by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control [NCDC] to check the spread of Corona Virus.
The 45 persons arrested included government workers, artisans, food vendors and hawkers who were alleged to have ignored the directive to wear face masks in public and observe social distance in crowded places.
Leader of the Task Force Team, Mr. Wadata Aliyu told newsmen that those arrested by the enforcement team were fined between N2000 to N5000 while some were also sentenced to engage in community service such as cleaning drainage areas and sweeping public buildings.
He remarked that some residents were reluctant to observe safety measures even after the FCT Administration imposed mandatory ban against large gatherings, moving about without face masks and socializing following unexpected spike in Corona virus infections in Abuja since December last year.
Aliyu stressed that the safety protocols were designed to reduce the rise in infections, recalling that FCT authorities took far-reaching actions including closing down entertainment centers and public recreation parks, while owners of other relaxation related outfits were advised to strictly adhere to public safety rules.
The Task Force Team headed by Wadata Aliyu recently led operatives of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board, security agents including personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS) and bulldozers to pull down structures in six locations where entertainment activities were being held despite warnings against such activities.
Thirty-five people including artists and patrons were arrested during the raid and prosecuted after several warnings were issued to the operators of the centers but were ignored, according to Task Force Team leader, Wadata Aliyu.
He said that apart from violating the COVID-19 laws, the entertainment centres were established illegally and the centers have become areas where immoral activities such as illicit drug consumption and prostitution are practiced openly.
Meanwhile, the Acting Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Hilary Kelechi Madu, has directed zonal commanders and state commandants to ensure optimal enforcement and general compliance of Corona virus Disease (Covid-19) Health Protection Regulations 2021 as signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Madu emphasized that strict adherence to the order by the Corps was predicated on the need to preserve the sanctity of life of Nigerians in different parts of the country.
He noted that as a major stakeholder in the provision of security and safety, as well as the preservation of health and wellbeing of Nigerians, the service must support the good intention of government in the face of the widespread and rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in Nigeria.
The acting CG further directed the stepping up of sensitization and citizen’s enlightenment campaign to encourage residents to take responsibility in ensuring their safety.
While reiterating that the second wave of the pandemic must not be treated with kid gloves but with all sense of responsibility and seriousness, Madu noted that the new variant of the virus has proven to be more deadly and fast becoming widespread in the country due to the attitude of indifference among people to the scourge.