“I must caution and warn that anybody who, for any reason, flouts the directives of government and is arrested, the full wrath of the law will fall on that person, because we will not allow a few citizens who are not conscious of the wellbeing of the majority of other citizens to put all of us at risk”.
These are the words of the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello in the wake of the FCT Security Committee meeting held on Saturday, 2nd May, 2020 in which he once again reiterated the commitment of the FCT Administration to beef up enforcement of the guidelines regulating the easing of the lockdown in the FCT starting on Monday 4th of May, 2020.
Malam Bello said that, the security agencies have reviewed their strategies on enforcing the ban on interstate travel and have adopted new ones to ensure its complete compliance.
According to the Minister, the ban on interstate travel was essential in order to prevent the spread of the virus either by infected persons coming into the FCT, or, on the other hand, infected persons from the FCT spreading the virus to other parts of the country.
In his words, “We also realized that one weak area that has confronted us is the fact that enforcement of the inter-state movement has not been very successful and that’s an area where if we are not very careful, will make it very difficult for us to prevent infection by people who are visiting the FCT from other parts of the country. By the same token also, if the enforcement is not very strong, infected people from the FCT will also move out to other states. At the end of the day, nationally, we all lose”.
The Minister also revealed that the security agencies will deploy additional personnel and resources to all the entry points using coordinated joint teams to be headed by very senior officers to ensure that the enforcement of the directive is carried out totally while being conscious of those that are permitted to move around.
He said “The ultimate objective of the FCTA and the security agencies is to safeguard the lives of the citizens of the FCT and by extension, the citizens of the surrounding states as well as Nigerians in general”.
While reminding residents of the FCT on the guidelines regulating the easing of the lockdown released earlier, the Minister advised residents to comply with the guidelines as that was the only way to ensure that the pandemic is controlled and contained in the FCT.
He said “the directives are very clear. Offices are open for specific categories of staff on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and within a specific time range of 8.00am to 2.00pm. So, my advice is anybody who has no reason to come out based on these directives should just stay at home. We have been at home for about four weeks now, another few weeks would do us good because if we are able to maintain the level of the virus in the FCT the way it has been maintained during the last few weeks, then by the grace of God Almighty, we will get over this”.
Malam Bello also reminded residents that the security and medical personnel have been working hard on the frontlines and that residents can show appreciation by obeying all established health and security protocols.
In his words “ If you see how hard the security agencies have been working day and night, how hard the medical personnel have been working day and night, we owe them gratitude by ensuring that we comply with all protocols established, regarding health control and security control”.
Malam Bello also offered a message of hope to residents saying “ I do hope that we will comply because in a matter of few weeks, by the grace of God, this thing will be over and we will go back to our normal daily lives”
The meeting was attended by heads of the various military, para-military and intelligence organisations in the FCT as well as senior officials of the FCTA.