By Stanley Onyekwere
In continuation of its reinvigorated efforts at cleaning nation’s capital city, the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) has cleared some illegal roadside motor parks and makeshift structures within Tunde Idiagbon Way and AE Ekukinam Streets, in Jabi.
In particular, the Council through its joint Taskforce at the weekend stormed and ransacked the area with its bulldozer, during a routine enforcement and clean up exercise, that resulted in dislodging roadside traders, operators of illegal motor parks, recreational centres, and traders in ‘unapproved’ shopping malls.
The team, which worked around Utako market and within Millennium Park, Maitama, also ransacked and cleared makeshift structures hitherto used for arts and crafts incl other trading activities there.
Our correspondent reports that most of the affected persons were allowed to remove and salvage their wares, before AMMC officers and bulldozer ransacked their hitherto places of trading and other commercial activities.
Speaking after the exercise, AMMC Coordinator, Umar said the Council’s programme of sanitizing Abuja is on, as it wants to make sure that gradually it picks streets to visit for the clean up exercise.
Umar Shuaibu said the affected people in Jabi had created an illegal motor-park along the axis, thereby obstructing our facilities such as pipe water, drainage and sewage system along the path.
He reiterated that the department that is mandated to control and enforce physical developments within the capital city is Development Control Department, therefore people or groups must abide by the approved development plan, according to the Abuja master plan.
On whether there was adequate notification of the exercise, the coordinator says: “it’s very glaring that the people were duly notified, they were given demolition notice for more than three months.
“They are aware of the exercise, as the abatement notices have even expired, before we visited the area for removal of illegal structures.
“They are encroaching on the road and other public facilities in the area, and whatever vehicle parking and carrying passengers along the way is illegal.
“These are activities that are supposed be done inside the Park. That’s why it was created, but unfortunately they are not using it.
Similarly, AEPB Director, Baban Shehu Lawan, while commenting on dislodging hawkers and roadside traders around Utako market, explained that the affected traders had been given notices several times, before clearing them.
He said those trading outside the market causing all sorts of nuisance and obstructing vehicular and human traffic flow in the area.
“We will continue to sustain the exercise as well as sensitise people about it, to ensure that all those trading outside the market are out permanently,” he stressed.
Not left out, Director, Development Control Department, Muktar Galadima, the managers of the Jabi motor Park may have to review the perimeter fence, in order to make necessary corrections to include developments not captured within the boundary of the facility.
As expected, most of the affected persons, who admitted culpability, however made a passionate appeal to the government for time and alternative places to take their trades to within the FCT, to help ameliorate their plight.