FCT Minister: We’ll Prosecute Naira Marley For Flouting COVID-19 Guidelines

Muhammad Bello, minister of the federal capital territory (FCT), says Azeez Fashola, a singer better known as Naira Marley, alongside those who entertained fun seekers at the Jabi Lake Mall would be prosecuted.

Marley came under intense criticisms for hosting a concert in Abuja, on Saturday, despite the restriction on large gatherings and ban on social events.

The venue of the concert was, however, sealed off for violating the COVID-19 guidelines while the flight company that conveyed the musician to Abuja was banned indefinitely.

Bello, in a statement by Anthony Ogunleye, his chief press secretary, said viral videos of the event showed that several of the guidelines issued by the presidential task force on COVID-19 were violated.

He noted that there is “a very real possibility that a single positive individual at that event could by now have gone ahead to infect several others thereby leading to a possible exponential spread”.

According to the minister, the FCT administration views the actions of the organisers and attendees at the concert as “reckless, wicked, insensitive and utter disrespect and disregard both for the law and the wellbeing and welfare of fellow citizens”.

He added that the FCT administration, which has a responsibility to protect the lives of the citizenry, is determined to prosecute all those involved in “orchestrating these infractions to the full extent of the law”.

“Videos of the event which are still circulating on the social media clearly showed a concert going on with music and live performances by a band and dancers,” Bello said.

“The video also showed attendees dancing to the live performances on the elaborately constructed stage.

“For purposes of emphasis the PTF and FCTA’s guidelines clearly states the following; There shall be no gathering of more than 20 people outside of a workplace or places of worship. There should be mandatory use of face masks when in public.

“There should be social distancing of at least 2 meters between 2 people while in public. There is a ban on all congregational events such as parties, weddings, concerts etc. There is a closure of all clubs, bars, gardens, beer parlors, recreational parks, communal sports facilities, movie theaters and so on. Markets and business premises are to remain open between 8 am and 4 pm.

“There is a ban on interstate travel. All the guidelines as postulated above were clearly violated as the videos available on social media indicate.”

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