By Stanley Onyekwere
Despite the declared resolve of the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello to ensure strict adherence to the cessation of movement order placed on Abuja, the FCT by President Muhammadu Buhari for 14 days, there was partial compliance with the order in different parts of the nation’s capital.
Recall that the FCT Minister had warned that defaulters will be arrested and prosecuted, as the administration will enforce the President’s order to the letter, following an emergency security meeting convened on Monday, to discuss the modalities of enforcing the lockdown directive, as part of measures to contain and curtail the Coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Minister, “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 home.
“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.
“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.”
However, checks revealed that partial observance in the Territory as some motorists in the early hours of yesterday were plying some major roads in Abuja though not in the usual hustle and bustle of a typical rush hours in the capital city.
It was observed that while some areas especially the highbrow residential neighbourhoods recorded full compliance other places mainly rural and suburb areas recorded partial observance of the lockdown.
In particular, it was also observed that the inter-state movement was still going on in the early hours of the lockdown’s first day, in diffiance to the closure of entry and exit points of the FCT.
Nevertheless, Military and Paramilitary security agencies such as the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police Force, and others were spotted at various locations enforcing the cessation of movement of through a conducting a stop-and-search operations.
Many commuters were seen been subjected to time consuming security check approach by soldiers at the popular Army Check Point stationed at Kugbo, along the ever busy AYA, Nyanya – Mararaba Road, connecting Karu, Jikwoyi, Kurudu, and Karshi settlements.
While only vehicles that have occupants with valid identification of the categories exempted from the cessation of movement were allowed passage, and other vehicles with passengers, seemingly not on the exemption list however turned back by the security operatives.