By Stanley Onyekwere
In continuation of its reinvigorated efforts at keeping FCT clean and green, the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) commenced clearing of make-shift structures used by petty traders, selling farm produce and other wares, along the corridors of Abuja Airport road.
AMMC officials who were accompanied by joint security personnel stormed the busy road, and supervisee the dismantling of several make-shift structures and trimming of overgrown vegetation in the area.
Our correspondent reports that the cleaning exercise affected roadside traders along Sabo Iddo and Giri junction, section of the Expressway, leading to the Airport area.
In particular, the clean up, which started from the Bill Clinton Drive to Giri junction affected all those people that are selling, and marketing foodstuff and other wares along the road corridors.
One of the affected persons, Rakiya Suleiman, who sells beans and other foodstuff, they were not asked to leave the place, but only to shift their shelters a bit far from the road corridors.
She added that although they were not given adequate notice prior to the exercise, the AMMC officials allowed to seamlessly remove their wares and other belongings from the area.
Speaking with newsmen while monitoring the exercise, AMMC Coordinator, Umar Shuaibu, said the exercise was sequel to FCT minister’s directive to make sure that the Council sanitise axis of the Airport Road.
Shuaibu, explained that trading activity is allowed 30 meters from the shoulder of the road, which is what the Council wants to enforce now.
He reiterated that the effort as a continuous one, officials are going to be patrolling the road, to ensure whatever they are able to do within the period of the cleanup exercise is being sustained.
He said: “This is a high speed vehicular road, in order to prevent mishaps, so people must be seen off the road.
“We don’t prevent people from getting their daily bread, but let them do so in an organized manner, because nobody is going to be allowed to display whatever they want very close to the road, there must be a buffer at least 30 meters from the shoulder of the road.
“Although nobody brought them here, but we are only asking them to shift back inside to a distance where it is acceptable, and whatever we are doing now is pending when real development is going to take place around there, as the entire area have been allocated.
“We are going to sanitise the median and shoulders of the road, by ensuring that overgrown vegetation are trim, including removing all illegal structures defacing the area.”
Similarly, Director, FCT Parks and Recreation, Ali Ukele, reiterated that the city managers have to maintain and ensure the road corridor is kept neat, because it gives the road architecture a very beautiful scenario.
According to him:”This is another gateway into the city, so if we don’t keep it clean, it does give Abuja her befitting status as one of the best capital cities in the world.”
On whether those affected were duly notified before the exercise, we have been notifying them about the exercise, he explains; “This is not the first time, we have been telling them to shift from the road.
“And nobody is using force on them, we just allowed them to dismantle their sheds and shift backwards.
“There are so many other places to do business along the axis, so people should go there and do their businesses with ease.”