By Muhammad Abdullahi
After the removal of shanties and illegal structures around the Karu Market, traders and other stakeholders on Wednesday begged the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to suspend the planned shut down of the entire market for further clean up.
The traders who had an interactive meeting with officials of the Committee, pleaded that their means of livelihoods were at stake, and may get worse, should the market be shut down.
A representative of the Market developers, Chika Obiora while commending the demolition exercise which he said had restored sanity in the market, also pledged to work in synergy with other stakeholders to sustain the environmental sanitation and also end all activities that encourage traffic gridlock.
FCT Ministerial Committee on City Sanitation, had said the discovery made on growing illegalities within the market was alarming, and needed a temporarily shut down of entire market for a total clean up and restore the Masterplan.
The Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to FCT Minister, Ikharo Attah who led the squad, said the rate of illegalities perpetrated in the market, does not only constitute environmental and security threats, but not befitting for a model City like Abuja.
Attah who reiterated that FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello remains unhappy that traders in Karu Market had left spaces in the market to take over the roadside, making it difficult for a free flow of traffic.
He noted that if the illegalities were not abated, FCTA may not give further notice before shutting down the entire market.
According to him, both Kubwa and Dutse markets have been shut down in time past, due to overwhelming illegalities and activities that disturb other residents’ rights.
Also speaking, Deputy Director, Enforcement at Abuja Environmental Protection Board ( AEPB) Kaka Bello, said returning to the market for further clean up, was inevitable as reports showed that some of the market managers were conspiring to perpetuate the illegalities.
Bello noted that traders with the support of some unscrupulous officials of the Abuja Municipal Area Council, were also converting approved land uses illegally to suit their selfish desires.
Earlier in his remarks, the Head of Department, Survey and Planning, Abuja Municipal Area Council, ( AMAC) Ngbede Micheal said the Council was in support of the ongoing sanitation in the Market.
Micheal also noted that the Council would ensure that all violators of rules and extant orders in the market, were handled in accordance with the laws.