By Stanley Onyekwere
No fewer than four parks and gardens were sealed off yesterday by authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and about 12 persons arraigned in court over COVID-19 safety violations.
It was gathered that the order to seal off the four gardens for a period of two weeks was issued by the FCT Mobile Court, after contravening PTF COVID-19 regulations, regarding operation of bars, night clubs, gardens and the likes.
Speaking to newsmen after the seal-off exercise, Head, Media and Enlightenment of the FCT COVID-19 Taskforce, Comrade Ikharo Attah disclosed that about 12 persons earlier arrested at the four gardens very late Sunday night.
Ikahro said: “We went out just before Christmas celebration and met some parks violating COVID-19 regulations and we did our operation.
“Because we are enforcement officers and not the judge, we arrested and took them to the judge through our prosecutor and the jude found them guilty. Although the judge gave those arrested the option of fine, and gave seal off order for the four parks and gardens affected.
“What we observe is that most of them operate beyond the period. The persons who were in the shops didn’t comply with physical distancing. Face masks wasn’t there at all and no hand washing points.
“They were totally in breach of the COVID-19 protocol and the judge in his wsdom, Magistrate Egbe Arafe issued seal off order for two weeks.
“After that two weeks, we will now come back to the court and continue the trial.”
Ikharo while advising other gardens and parks to do the needful, hinted that the Taskforce would focus on night clubs, vowing that they would have it tough unless they comply with the health regulations given by the Presidential Taskforce on VOVID-19.
He regretted that despite criss from kids and parents for the FCTA to reopen Million Park, Jabi Lake and other parks that had been shut down, such places would not be reopened yet.
“What we are doing is not what we want to do, but we have to save people from themselves. If you look at some of these people here, they ought to be working in the restaurants, but the other ones come in and make things difficult for them.
“Some times you have to enforce the law; it feels very bad but what do we do going forward”, he queried.