By Stanley Onyekwere
No fewer than five hundred (500) Parks and Gardens in the Federal Capital City (FCC) would be raided and purged from illegal structures and nefarious activities.
It could be recalled that the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), through the Department of Development Control and the Department of Parks and Recreation, had commenced the move to end the sales and consumption of alcohol and drugs in parks and gardens in the FCC.
The intensive clean up operation, which kicked off in the wake of increasing insecurity in the nation’s capital city, is seen as a subtle measure to tackle the menace.
Our correspondent reports that the exercise, which started on Tuesday in Wuse Zone 6 and continued esterday in Wuse Zone 5, saw the removal of all illegal structures in all the parks and gardens located in the nation’s capital city.
Consequently, illegal structures in Wuse Zone 5 and 6, in 11 gardens and parks, which include, Unique Park, Surich Park, Covenant Favour Park, Tikus Garden, Excellence Park, among others, were removed.
Speaking with newsmen on the exercise, Director, Parks and Recreation Department, Ali Ukele, decried that people who live near the Parks and Gardens have complained about noise pollution and insecurity in the areas.
Ukele frowned that the operators of parks and gardens have turned the areas into business and residential areas, While noting that intoxicating beverages
and drugs are not allowed in the parks, he sstated that the exercise would also led to the end of the abuses.
“Most of the activities being carried out in Parks and Garden are wrong ones, these places are for relaxation and not for selling of intoxicating beverages or hard drugs.
“The exercise is going to be comprehensive and no illegal place will be spare for any reason. We have been holding meetings with the operators against the act.
“There are some park operators that have approved allocations but a lot of them don’t have, so if you don’t have and you are operating illigally, this operation will also catch up with you.
“We have shanties where people are sleeping within the parks, and you can see all sort of things in the Parks, there are laundry services, and all sort of shanty related activities, so we can’t allow the trend to continue.
“There are security threats because people sleep in Parks, and we have complaints from residents, because people come from parks and then rob or disturb them in the night, then disappear into the parks, so this is the issue,” he stressed.