The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Bello, on Tuesday vowed to prosecute musician, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, alongside those who featured and entertained fun seekers at the Jabi Lake Mall in Abuja.
Jabi Lake Mall was shut down by the FCT Administration following a judgement from a mobile court headed by Magistrate Idayat Akonni, who sat in the premises of the mall to seal it up for two weeks for defaulting the coronavirus protocol.
The Minister, while reacting to the illegal music concert last Saturday, said: “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.
“The video also showed attendees dancing to the live performances on the elaborately constructed stage.”
Bello reiterated several aspects of the guidelines as postulated by the Presidential Task Force on COVID 19 as well as the FCT Administration were violated with reckless abandon.
According to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Anthony Ogunleye, the Minister said: “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 8am and 4pm.
“There is a ban on interstate travel. All the guidelines as postulated above were clearly violated as the videos available on social media indicate.
“According to Malam Bello, The FCT Administration views the actions of the organisers and attendees at this concert as reckless, wicked, insensitive and utter disrespect and disregard both for the law and the wellbeing and welfare of fellow citizens.
“He also 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.”
The Minister also 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.