Insecurity: AEPB Destroys Illegal Markets in FCT

In continuation of its drive to secure the nation’s capital, the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) has demolished the illegal markets at Area 11 and Federal Secretariat.
The Area 11 illegal market encompassed the entire shanty stores built in an area popularly called COVID-19 market, as well as the shanties constructed around the Federal Secretariat.
Director of AEPB, Mr Osi Braimah informed that the government provided sites for petty trading but the traders refused to comply.
“For security purposes, it is not good to have the Point of Sale (POS) operators all over the place. We advise people to do things in designated places to forestall insecurity issues.
“The POS operators have been told to move into plazas so as not to have POS canopies all over the expressways. This is even better for our people because if the POS operators are in the plazas, everyone will know them,” he said.
He noted that the demolition is an ongoing exercise, saying that the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike has mandated various agencies to clear all shanties, illegal markets and squatter camps in the FCT.
The director said that the space at the Federal Secretariat used as an illegal market is a road corridor that was taken over by petty traders.
He was optimistic that the FCT administration would soon commence massive road projects to avert the return of shanties in the affected areas.
Braimah disclosed that part of the problems in the FCT is the inability of land owners to develop their plots, saying that such vacant plots attracted criminals.
Deputy Director, Monitoring and Enforcement Department of AEPB, Mr Kaka Bello added that demolition is a normal routine carried out by the board to clean the city.
Bello said that the Area 11 market was designed to assist the residents in the locality during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He stated that after the COVID-19 pandemic, the traders were expected to return back to Garki Market where they have shops but most of them refused to park out two years after.
“Things that were not approved to be sold at the market are now being sold there to constitute nuisance to the area, the market was meant to take care of only groceries.
“The environment here is unhealthy, we have given them notice of vacation before now and this is the final notice. By the time we come back on October 21, we will roll the machines to finally break the place down,” he added.
Bello maintained that the market is a rail corridor, adding that park and pay spot would soon be developed in the area in order to force out the illegal occupants.

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