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Lagos COVID-19 Taskforce arrests 65 youths for holding party

By Monsuru Olowoopejo
The Lagos State Task Force on COVID-19 has arrested 65 fun-seeking guests in Abule Egba axis for contravening social distancing directives and lockdown orders of President Muhammadu Buhari in the state.
It was gathered that the guests were arrested on Wednesday while attending a birthday party held at 84 Park Hotel, Augusto Close, at Idi Oparun Bus Stop in Abule Egba, Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government, an act that was in sharp variance with the ongoing lockdown in the state.
The enforcement team, while sealing off the Hotel for contravening the lockdown order, arrested the manager for allegedly aiding the perpetrators to engage in the act within his premises.
Aside from been arrested for holding the birthday party, the guests were apprehended for allegedly consuming substances suspected to be illicit drugs and swimming in a pool; breaching the social distancing directives.
Our correspondent gathered that the suspects, who were within the range of 16 to 40 years, confessed to the law enforcement officers to have left their various homes to the hotel in defiance to the sit at home order.
While the Lagos Police Command intensifies plans to charge the suspects to Court, Director Enforcement and Monitoring, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Kayode Bello, who led the enforcement team that includes Lagos State Safety Commission, Policemen attached to Rapid Respond Squad (RRS), disclosed that the team stormed the party after receiving a tip-off from concern citizen of the state of an ongoing birthday party.
Reacting to the sealed premises, General Manager of LASEPA, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, and his Safety Commission counterpart, Lanre Mojola, maintained that the state would not hesitate to enforce provisions of the law on event facility that defies the state government orders for personal gains.
Fasawe said: “it is no longer business as usual because this pandemic has united us all and encourages citizen participation in terms of information sharing. We responded at exactly  3:10 pm after receiving the information and surprisingly met the youths who were shabbily dressed for a birthday party. It shouldn’t be difficult for us to obey simple instructions and adhere strictly to safety precautions, so as to timely flatten the curve coronavirus in the state”.
She, however, appealed to parents and guardians “to counsel their children on the need to stay away from any unlawful gathering.  All hands are on deck to ensure that there is no hidden place for flagrant violators. The war can only be won through the collective efforts of all. We all have a part to play as stakeholders”.
Mojola said: “It is disheartening that the youth who are the future of this great nation are insensitive about their health and if not because of them they should think about those people who are to be affected directly or indirectly by their action or inaction. 
The General Manager further waned facility owners not to allow themselves to be used in perpetrating evils by occupying the centres for unlawful means under the pretense of social gathering.

The Commissioner of Police Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, in a statement by the Command Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Bala Elkana, urged residents to continue to be law-abiding.

Odumosu advises parents to monitor the activities of their children, especially during this lockdown period. Together we can stop the spread of COVID-19.

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