The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Friday in Abuja raised alarm over increasing rate of illegal and criminal activities going on in Gudu District electrical and auto spare parts market.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this was when a combined team of FCT Ministerial Committee on City Sanitation and Enforcement squad of Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) visited the market.
The visit was to sensitise the traders to plans of the team to enforce court order on sanitation.
NAN also reports that the team warned the illegal traders of imminent enforcement of a court order to rid the market of all illegalities and then gave a 72-hour ultimatum for the removal of shanties.
Mr Ikharo Attah, the Chairman, FCT Ministerial Committee on City Sanitation, said the exercise had become necessary as the market had been overtaken by illegalities that threatened public safety.
Attah noted that the nuisance created by the traders in the market was “a disaster waiting to happen”.
He explained that security and safety in the market could not be compromised for anything and, therefore, the planned sanitation exercise.
“What the traders own in this market are their shops and not the walk ways and parking lots. The traders have turned the car parks into warehouse.”
Attah issued 72 hours ultimatum to illegal traders to remove their goods from walkways and car parks.
He warned that if they didn’t comply, FCTA would have no other choice than to enforce the court order and totally shut down the market and clean it.
“We want to make the market safe for all because what we see here is a disaster waiting to happen.
“In an event of fire outbreak it would be difficult for rescue vehicles to access the market,” Attah added.
Also, the Head of Enforcement Squad, AEPB, Mr Kaka Bello, explained that the 72-hour ultimatum was given to enable various unions in the market to correct all the wrongs.
“We are here to enforce a court order on the cleaning of the market.
“The market has been characterised by all forms of nuisance by traders who display their wares on walk ways, car parks and other places.
“We are giving them 72 hours to remove the entire nuisance,” Bello said.
Responding, the Managing Director, Abuja Market Management Ltd., Alhaji Ibrahim Uzaibat, confirmed that traders were alerted on several contraventions and illegal activities tarnishing the image of the market.
Uzaibat said that all major markets in Abuja had approved blueprint that must not be compromised and that comprehensive sanitation exercise had started in some of the markets to restore sanity and shoppers’ confidence.
“Court order has been issued to the traders for them to abate these nuisances. This intervention exercise is billed to take place anytime soon.
“Before it happens, however, on behalf of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, we wish to inform every trader, shop owners, market users and other stakeholders in Gudu market Abuja of the plan to sanitise the market.’’
He said that the sanitisation would affect all illegal incursions, trading activities in unauthorised places as well as all criminal elements.