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Military, paramilitary personnel to enforce lock down in Abuja — Minister

MUHAMMAD Bello, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), says he would ensure that the cessation of movement order placed on the FCT by President Muhammadu Buhari is enforced to the letter.

Bello disclosed this in Abuja on Monday after an emergency security meeting convened  to discuss the modalities of enforcing the lock down of the FCT for 14 days.

In a late briefing after the emergency meeting which was attended by the heads of the various military formations, paramilitary agencies and senior administrative staff of the FCTA, the Minister said that “all organs of the FCT Security Services and other government agencies have agreed and worked out modalities to ensure that all entry and exit points of the FCT and by extension, other satellite towns, are manned by relevant officials to ensure that everybody stays at home.”

While reiterating that the best way of overcoming the disease is by being disciplined and following all the prescribed measures by the health authorities which include staying indoor with the exception of those legally permitted to move around, Bello said that defaulters will be arrested and prosecuted.

“I want to also reiterate that except those that have been allowed and are exempted from this cessation of movement, all other citizens and residents of the FCT are enjoined to stay indoors,” the Minister said.

“Where these regulations are flouted, I want to emphasize that the security agencies have been empowered to arrest and prosecute defaulters because we will not allow any individual or groups, as a result of their inability to honour this medical advice, jeopardize the health of multiples because as has been shown the world over, one of the greatest weapons to fight this disease is confinement and containment in one place,” he warned.

That way, Bello explained the contact tracing becomes much easier noting that those that are infected are easily provided with medical services.

On the palliative measures being put in place to cushion the effect of the cessation of movement on the more vulnerable members of the society, the Minister said that the FCT Palliative Committee is headed by the Minister of State,Ramatu Aliyu.

The Committee, he added would be supported by the Chairman of the six Area Councils, traditional and religious authorities, NGOs and other support groups.

The Minister also said that the FCT already had modalities in place to identify the truly indigent members of society that will require assistance.

According to him “the system of identifying vulnerable people within the FCT community is already in place, using the 60-ward structure of INEC, as well as the traditional and religious authorities.

“Within every community, those that are vulnerable are known and also, under our Social Development Secretariat, we already have a database of vulnerable people that have been taken care of under the conditional cash transfer.”

The FCTA, the Minister continued, would also tap into the data base of religious groups that already have records of the indigent in their various communities whom they have been assisting even prior to the current outbreak of Covid 19.

He also  reminded the residents of the FCT of their individual and collective responsibilities in fighting the disease.

Quoting President Buhari, Bello said “as individuals, we remain the greatest weapon in fighting COVID 19. So, I’m appealing to all residents of the FCT to stay indoors and abide by all the regulations of the health and security authorities.”

Bello also revealed that he was tested for COVID 19 and his results came out as negative.

 

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