The Federal Capital Territory Security Committee has banned all forms of demonstrations in Abuja including the #EndSARS protest over the coronavirus pandemic.
The FCT administration said it was concerned that despite the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) by the Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu, the demonstrations had continued, causing inconveniences to law-abiding citizens.
The administration said the decision was reached at a meeting held on Tuesday to review the security situation in the FCT.
Those in attendance at the meeting were the FCT Minister Muhammad Bello, FCTA Permanent Secretary Olusade Adesola, heads of the various security agencies and military formations in the FCT, senior members of staff of the FCTA, representatives of religious and traditional institutions as well as area council chairmen.
Chief press secretary to the FCT minister Anthony Ogunleye said in a statement on Wednesday: “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.”