The federal capital territory administration (FCTA) on Thursday banned all street protests, including the #EndSARS protest in the nation’s capital.
Recall that Nigerians have taken to the streets to protest extrajudicial killings and brutality by the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Following pressure from protesters the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, disbanded SARS and announced the formation of a new unit called Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team.
He also ordered former operatives of the disbanded SARS to submit themselves for psychological and medical examination at the Force HQ.
Unsatisfied with the IGP’s actions so far Nigerians on social media began another advocacy using #EndSWAT as a replacement for #EndSARS.
I 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, the FCTA raised concern over the continued protest.
The administration accused protesters of endangering the lives of citizens going about their legitimate business.
“The FCT Security Committee met for its routine meeting on Tuesday October 13, 2020, to review the security situation in the Federal Capital Territory with a view to addressing identified challenges,” Ogunleye said.
“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.
“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.”
The meeting which held on Tuesday to review the security situation in the FCT and address identified challenges, 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.