By Theresa Goodwin
Staff at the Agriculture Extension Division have resorted to using tape to secure several windows and the entrance door to the Valley Road building after they were severely damaged following Sunday’s protest in St John’s which ended in a standoff between police and demonstrators.
When Observer visited the government department, commonly referred to as the PDO building, the main entrance door was completely blocked off and bars were in place over the broken windows.
Visitors wishing to enter are being directed to a back entrance.
Acting Chief Extension Officer Owolabi Elabanjo said staff discovered the damage when they reported for duty on Monday. They have since filed a report and made some adjustments to allow for normal operations pending an official assessment from the Public Works Department.
“We are doing what we can do, we have taped up some of the windows to ensure the building is secured during the rainy period … we are working and fulfilling our obligation as civil servants to the public,” Elabanjo said.
“We are awaiting a report from the Public Works Department on who is going to bear the burden of the repairs going forward because we cannot have the front door remaining in that state.
“We are working, the minister is aware, the police and the Public Works Department, and we want to let our farmers know we are working and we are using the back door as the main entrance for now,” Elabanjo added.
Scores of demonstrators took to the city’s streets on August 8 to condemn various Covid-related rules and vaccination policies.