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#ENDSARS: FCTA announces ban on protest in Abuja, cites breach of COVID-19 protocol

THE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Thursday, announced the ban on street protests and any form of public demonstration in the nation’s capital.

Anthony Ogunleye, Chief Press Secretary to Mohammed Bello, FCT Minister, who announced the ban in a statement said the activities of the protesters which he described as unruly, have endangered the lives of citizens going about their legitimate business.

He added that the demonstrations contradict the COVID-19 safety protocols and guidelines which were put in place to safeguard lives.

“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 ban comes at a time when Nigerian youths are staging protests across major cities in the country to demand an end to police brutality being perpetrated by the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigeria Police Force.

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