Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello is not happy with the way enforcement of lockdown policy of the government, especially the one on interstate movement is being carried out by the relevant enforcement agencies. “We 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, who spoke at a reconvened security committee meeting of the FCT in his office, stressed: “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.”Musa Bello confirmed 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.
He insisted that the ban on interstate travel is essential in order to prevent the spread of the virus either by infected persons coming into the FCT, or infected persons from the FCT spreading the virus to other parts of the country.
The Minister said 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.
“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.”
He reminded residents of the FCT on the guidelines regulating the easing of the lockdown released earlier, even as he advised residents to comply with the guidelines as that is the only way to ensure that the pandemic is controlled and contained.
“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.”