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#EndSARS: FCTA bans protests in Abuja over COVID-19

Valentine Chinyem

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The Federal Capital Territory Security Committee has banned #EndSARS protests in Abuja, over breach of COVID-19 protocols.

This was contained in a statement on Wednesday titled,’COVID-19: FCT Security Committee prohibits street demonstrations,’ signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the FCT minister, Mr Anthony Ogunleye.

He said, that it is surprising that despite ban of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), protests have continued in the city, with many of the protesters flouting COVID-19 rules.

In the meeting which held on Tuesday, authorities in charge of yhr federal capital, reviewed the security situation of the city and also proffer possible solutions to challenges.

The meeting

was chaired by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello and 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.

“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,” the statement reads.

“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. 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.”