…bars unvaccinated staff, visitors from offices
Pa n d e m o n i u m reigned at the secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Monday following the enforcement of ‘no COVID-19 jab, no entry’ .
As early as 7:30am, an enforcement team protected by security officials gathered at all the entry points, turning back workers and visitors without any proof that they had been vaccinated against the virus.
The enforcement came more than one month after the Federal Government gave the directive. Despite the over one-week said to have been given the workers to get vaccinated, many of them were found wanting.
Some of the workers left stranded at the entrance gates begged to be allowed in. The Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT Minister, Ikharo Attah, who led the enforcement team to the FCTA secretariat, departments and agencies, explained that while workers or visitors are being forced to take the vaccine, every individual must present a negative COVID-19 test result to gain access to the premises.
He said considering the rising cases of the Omicron variant of the pandemic, stringent measures have to be taken to protect staff and everyonethathasanythingto do with the administration.
Attah said: “We gave them a full week for advocacy, and we got a van that went round announcing it. Circulars were also circulated in line with the one earlier issued by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation that staff who are not vaccinated (would be denied entry). “Those who say they don’t want to be vaccinated will get a negative test result.
So, if you bring your vaccination card or the negative test result, any of the two can suffice. “Even if you feel you should not be vaccinated, then get us a negative test result, not more than three days old, and that will get access.
“People thought that we are not serious here, but they have come to let them know that when the Ministers, Muhammad Bello and Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, as well as the Permanent Secretary say something, they mean it.”
Some of the workers turned back vowed never to take the vaccine, but wait until after a few days which they said the enforcement may last. One of them, a young man, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “Forcing unwilling staff to take vaccine, is like forcing a child to such breast when he is not hungry.”