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Published On: Mon, Jun 22nd, 2020

COVID-19: Abuja nightclubs, others warned against reopening

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By Stanley Onyekwere

The Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA has warned operators of nightclubs, bars and gardens across the city not to reopen for business until the coronavirus otherwise known as COVID-19 restriction order is lifted.
This warning was issued against the backdrop of the gradual easing of the hitherto total lockdown imposed on the nation’s capital city, as part of measures to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19.
Chairman of the FCT Ministerial Enforcement Task-team on COVID-19 Restrictions, Ikharo Attah handed down the warning at the weekend when the team went round Kubwa, Gwarinpa and Wuse to monitor the level of compliance by operators.
He noted that the ban on nightclubs, parks and bars is yet to be lifted, hence the need for his team to sustain routine inspection and ensure strict compliance.
Addressing journalists after the operation, Attah who expressed satisfaction with the high level of compliance by the nightclub operators, however raised alarm over the high number of suspected commercial sex workers around buildings housing the nightclubs at Kubwa.
He said: “We believe that if we relax too much, with the number of positive Covid-19 cases on the rise it would not be good for the city.
“The presence of the ladies of the night is a violation of the curfew because they are not on the exemption list of essential workers.
“Their presence made us to carry out full checks on some nightclubs which are truly closed. At moments like this we expect them to stop the unholy trade in their own interest because the men who may patronize them may be Covid-19 positive.”
While disclosing the shut down of a bar at Wuse 2, the Task-team chairman said, “we got several calls that Reset Nightclub and Bar located at Lobito Crescent in Wuse 2 was fully operational. But when we got there we discovered that it wasn’t true.
“A bar operating in a plaza located opposite the nightclub, as we all found out this night, was the one operating and playing very loud music which necessitated the calls and complaints we got from residents of the area.”
Consequently, the team shut down the bar and confiscated some of its loudspeakers which were handed over to Enforcement officials from the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB).
The chairman added that the team would be extending its checks on nightclubs in the suburbs while appealing to FCT residents to stay at home, during the curfew periods and not endanger their lives.

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