By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA has arrested 84 travellers, warning others seeking to pass through the territory to stay back, as the Administration is not in a hurry to relax the emergency containment protocols imposed in the wake of the outbreak of Covid-19.
Those apprehended were travelling in a truck as well as six other buses.
Addressing journalists at Zuba in Abuja, Chairman, FCT Ministerial Enforcement Task team on COVID-19 Restrictions, Ikharo Attah lamented that, “in spite of the directives by the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha, many seem determined to remain lawless. One wonders why these people are still travelling in from state to state and in overloaded vehicles.
“Despite the alarming increase in the number of interstate violators, we of the FCT Administration will not relent in doing what we are directed to do by the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. If we must contain this virus that is ravaging the world, citizens must close ranks with the government”, he added.
According to him, the breakdown of the arrest shows that 21 passengers were apprehended on a J5 bus travelling from Owo in Ondo state to Kano state.
Also intercepted was a truck travelling from Lagos to Jos with six passengers and a Toyota Hiace bus from Kaduna to Warri in Delta state with 13 passengers.
A Mazda Bus from Minna in Niger state to Nasarawa state with 16 passengers was also apprehended.
Six passengers in a Volkswagen Sharon bus from Kaduna to Kogi state were arrested as well as 14 passengers in a Toyota Hiace bus from Kaduna to Ankpa in Kogi state.
The last vehicle intercepted was a Toyota Hiace bus travelling from Akwa-Ibom state to Kaduna state with eight passengers.
Attah said; “they were arraigned at the Zuba mobile court where the magistrate, Ebiwari Damini convicted both the drivers and passengers. While all the passengers, excluding minors, were fined N1,000 naira each, the drivers of the vehicles were fined between three and five thousand naira each”.
While he ruled that the truck and three other buses be impounded in the FCT until the COVID-19 pandemic is over, he ordered that three buses whose passengers were largely women and children be turned back to where they were coming from.