The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Ministerial Task Team on COVID-19 has released over 40 protesters, who were arrested by the joint security personnel at the Unity Fountain for violating the COVID-19 health protocols.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the protesters were arrested and brought before an FCT mobile court for prosecution, but Magistrate Idayat Akanni, who was to preside over the case was absent due to pending cases in another court.
Speaking on the matter, chairman of the task team, Comrade Ikharo Attah noted that the protesters violated the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 guidelines on social and physical distancing, while most of them were caught without face masks.
Attah stated that the protesters have all the rights to protest, even as he urged them to always conform to all the COVID-19 protocols for their safety.
According to him, “About 40 of them have been released and were told to always conform to the COVID-19 guidelines whenever they want to protest They have the right to association, protest, freedom of speech and expression, but they must always conform to the COVID-19 health protocols”.
“The enforcement team went out for their normal operation and this time around, we arrested some persons, who came to protest”.
“It’s very clear that this is a democratic nation and everyone has a right to protest but this must be done within the rules that governed the country and one of such rules is to obey the COVID-19 protocols. So, they were brought to the mobile court in line with COVID-19 violation”.
Earlier, the general-secretary, United Action for Democracy and a leading member of the protesters, Comrade Kunle Ajayi had explained that the intent of their protest was for the government to approve free and standard education and healthcare services before they were chased, beaten and paraded before the court.
“We are here to lead the revolution and protest for free, functional and standard education at all levels and advanced healthcare considering the current pandemic”.
“Hospitals are not working; doctors are on strike, a lot of things are wrong with the country. We decided to mobilise people in communities and streets to join the protest and demand for better education, healthcare and social welfare, likewise the protection of lives and properties”.