Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has raised the alarm over the influx of beggars into the territory from neighbouring states in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown in the nation’s capital.
The Minister of State for FCT, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, who raise the alarm yesterday while inspecting palliative items at Tunga Mage community in Gwagwalada Area Council, stressed that FCT is not a dumping ground for beggars and therefore warned that anyone caught aiding and abetting such gross violation of containment protocol, would be made to face dire consequences.
Aliyu urged stakeholders and residents to assist security agencies halt the trend by acting as whistleblowers.
The minister state said; “Information got to us yesterday night that trucks and pick-ups are offloading destitute at the boundaries of the FCT or in some of our suburbs.
“We heard there is influx of destitute into the territory. FCT is not a dumping ground. This is a cry to residents, both natives and non-natives, and also a cry to the royal fathers, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the League of Imams, as well as Civil Society Organisations to please blow the whistle when they see strange faces in their areas.”
Aliyu wondered how people continued to sneak into the territory despite the lockdown in the FCT and most of the states surrounding it.
She said, “There is no inter-state movement and we don’t know how they were able to arrive here. When you see a group of destitute, please call us. We shall return them back or know what to do with them. But please don’t house any guests.
”Don’t endanger the lives of your relatives and yourself by harbouring strangers or visitors that are your relatives from other states. So, we will be working round the clock to fish them out and most of them would be subjected to necessary tests.
“Let each state be able to shut down and take responsibility and see how we can urgently reduce the spread of Covid-19 to the barest minimum”.
Responding, the chairman of the FCT Enforcement Team on Movement Restriction, Mr. Ikharo Attah, promised to ensure that security would be tightened around the boundaries of the FCT.