By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
In furtherance to efforts at ensuring a sustainable and clean environment within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) in collaboration with the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) yesterday conducted a major raid on some street hawkers operating around Barnex Plaza and some streets in Wuse 2, as well as other environs of Abuja.
Speaking to journalists during the exercise, new acting Director of the Board , Mr. Baba Shehu Lawal, said street hawking cannot be condoned by the FCT administration, as it constitutes nuisance in the Territory.
Lawal, who used the opportunity of the enforcement tour to warn business men and women that are encouraging the menace by hiding and supplying goods to hawkers, stressed that it is not be business as usual.
“We are now on duty arresting hawkers and the business premises with their guards that are trying to protect the hawkers and we are not going to take it lightly with them.
“Any business premises that we found to be harbouring hawkers, we have every right to seal such premises and we can’t condone any hawkers and those companies that are giving articles to the boys to be hawking on the street.
“If they wish to sell their product let them go appropriate market but certainly not on the street, this is completely illegal and I must clean this city within the shortest possible time and any person caught would be prosecuted,” he explained.
Similarly, the AMMC Coordinator, Mr. Reuben Okoya, said the new law implies that both the hawkers and that patronize will be prosecuted.
According to him, “we will not condone any street begging and hawkers, it will be serious enforcement, monitoring and sustaining the pace and the tempo to ensure a clean city free from dirt and diseases.”
All the hawkers caught during the exercise were taken to mobile court at Area 3 for prosecution.