…clears illegal roadside traders
By Muhammad Abdullahi, Abuja
Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Monday launched another attack on hoodlums’ fortress around the popular Mpape CrushRock tourism site, dislodging criminal elements suspected to have been terrorising and robbing both residents and tourists.
This was even as it removed all the illegal structures rebuilt by roadside traders, after they were cleared few months ago.
Mpape Crush Rock water site, being one of the tourism attractions already identified by the FCTA, had received the attention of the private sector investors.
It was learnt that in collaboration with government, the processes of developing its full tourism potentials, had commenced but activities of hoodlums in the area have remained a major challenge.
The exercise that was led by the Senior Special Assistant to FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement , Ikharo Attah, lasted for hours bringing to an end the criminal siege of the area.
Attah noted that the two Ministers of the FCT were working hard to commence construction of the Mpape Road projects, but residents have continued to distract attention by contravening development plans.
He added that the aggressive attack on illegalities around the tourism site, was to ensure safety for tourists during this Yuletide and the holidays.
While he disclosed that many tourists had been harassed and molested by hoodlums at the site, including one of the media aides to the Deputy Senate President, Lara Wise, he stated that the administration cannot watch while criminal elements continue their terror reign.
According to him, even the Divisional Police Officer in Mpape, CSP Adamu Faisal, who had earlier called for the dislodgement of the hoodlums, was happy that the site was finally secured.
Attah, while warning indigenous people and other residents in Mpape, who were rebuilding the demolished illegal structures, noted that the administration will not relent in sustaining the operations.
Attah said, ” coming back to Mpape today is to achieve two things, to clear the road which is already getting congested. They are already rebuilding the illegal structures, secondly, to dislodge the hoodlums in this tourism site, which has been a problem.
” Looking around here, you will see the activities of scavengers and hoodlums, making tourism activities here very difficult. We have cleared here before and these hoodlums left, but unfortunately, they are regrouping. The hoodlums have been snatching peoples bags and making them pay certain amount”.
Also speaking, the Deputy Director of Abuja Environmental Protection Board, Kaka Bello, said his team would intensify it operations in the area to continue to keep the hoodlums away from the area.
Bello also noted that since those who are rebuilding the illegal structures, are not relenting in breaking the laws, his team will also not give up in applying the laws.