The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Ministerial Enforcement Task Team on COVID19 restrictions, on Thursday, arrested 84 travellers, impounding Dangote truck and two other buses for violating interstate restriction order.
Addressing newsmen on the development in Abuja, the Chairman of the task force, 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.
He wondered why people are still travelling in from one state to another state and in overloaded vehicles despite the restriction order.
Attah, therefore, warned others seeking to pass through the territory to stay back, as the administration was not in a hurry to relax the emergency containment protocols imposed in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19.
According to him: “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 COVID-19 virus that is ravaging the world, citizens must be in close agreement with the government.”
He said about 21 passengers were apprehended on a J5 bus travelling from Owo in Ondo State to Kano State, while Dangote truck from Lagos State to Plateau State with six passengers and a Toyota Hiace bus from Kaduna State to Warri in Delta State with 13 passengers were also intercepted.
“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.
“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 each, the drivers of the vehicles were fined between three and five thousand naira each.” He stated.
He further ruled that the Dangote truck and three other buses be impounded in the FCT until the COVID-19 pandemic is over, while three other buses whose passengers were largely women and children be turned back to where they were coming from.