The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has explained why members of the #RevolutionNow Movement where arrested in Abuja while protesting.
The protesters, demanding redress to disturbing national issues, were arrested at Unity Fountain after being dehumanised by joint security operatives. They were later arraigned before a mobile court for prosecution but regained freedom after the prosecutors were unable to secure their conviction.
Ikharo Attah, who addressed newsmen on behalf of the FCT Ministerial Task Team on COVID-19, said the protesters were arrested for not observing guidelines to prevent the spread of Coronavirus disease.
“The enforcement team went out in our normal routine operation and this time around, we made some arrests of some persons who came to protest and it is very clear that this is a democratic nation and everyone has the right to protest, to voice out but this must be done within the rules that governs the country and one of such rules is to obey the issues of COVID-19, so they were brought to the Mobil court in line with COVID-19 violations,” Mr Attah explained.
“When there is protest, social distancing is very difficult to observe, so when they came to the court, the magistrate had several other cases in other courts and couldn’t sit. And in our own wisdom, as person’s with listening hears, we talked to them, and it was agreed by all parties that they should go and observed all the laid down COVID-19 protocols before they will be released and they agreed to that do that.
“About 40 of them have all been released and been tasked to always conform with COVID-19 whenever they are out to protest. Saying, you have the right to association, right to protest, a right to freedom of speech and expression but as you do all of this you must always conform to COVID-19 health protocols,” he added.
Some protesters in other states of the federation successfully demonstrated but they were later arrested by security operatives.