The Commissioner of Police Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command, Bala Ciroma, on Tuesday promised free movement of food and agricultural inputs across the territory during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ciroma gave the assurance at the inaugural meeting of the Joint Technical Task Team on the Emergency Response to COVID-19 on the Challenges of Free Movement of Food and Agricultural Inputs in the FCT.
He made the promise in a statement by Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche, the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ) FCT Council, who is also a member of the team.
Ciroma who was represented by Mr Sunday Babaji, Deputy Commissioner Operations, urged members of the task force to see their membership as a call to national service during the COVID-19 crisis.
“I assure the government that the police in the FCT alongside other security agencies will ensure the free movement of food and agricultural inputs so as to guarantee food security.
“All Divisional Police headquarters have been mobilised to ensure that all those transporting foodstuff and other agricultural essentials are given priority on the road,” Ciroma said.
He, however, warned motorists against transporting contraband with food and agricultural inputs as anyone caught would face the full weight of the law.
Ciroma said the joint task force was set up by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
He said the team would work with relevant agencies in the states and FCT to develop a window that would facilitate unhindered movement of food, livestock and agricultural inputs without compromising the security and health of the nation.
“The team will also issue out clear instructions to all the security personnel in the three internal security outfits; police, civil defence and the army, on the need to allow the free and unhindered movement of foodstuff, livestock and agriculture inputs to all parts of Nigeria,” he said.
Other members of the team include Mr Ogboje Jairus, Assistant Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Yunusa Halidu of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, and Yusuf Alabi representing the National Union of Road Transport Workers.
Others are Alhaji A. Umar of the National Association of Road Transport Owners, and Alhaji M.G. Abdulrahman representing Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development who serves as secretary.