FCTA removes makeshift markets, settlements in Abuja

The Federal Capital Territory Administration has demolished makeshift markets and squatter settlements behind the Old Federal Secretariat in Garki Area 1, for posing a security threat to residents in the area.

Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority and Chairman of the Ministerial Joint Task Force, Shehu Ahmed, said the operation was carried out to ensure security around the Old Secretariat, which still housed critical Federal Ministries and Agencies.

Ahmed lamented the increasing spate of insecurity and criminality that had taken over the large expanse of land in the area, which he said was purposed to be a transit corridor for trains and roads.

He, however, disclosed that the administration would create a temporary car park and a food court in the interim, as a measure to keep illegal occupants and criminals away from the place.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Evaluation, Attah Ikharo, said the displaced marketers and squatters had earlier been warned about their illegal occupation, while describing the victims’ disobedience as “a rape of the Abuja Masterplan”, and that the exercise would continue for the rest of the week.

“We were here one week ago to warn them and asked them to pack. Some of them have packed, but those who are stubborn remained, thinking that we are not serious. The Minister has insisted that we can’t have wanton illegalities, gruesome contraventions, and a rape of the Abuja Master Plan in the heart of the city. This exercise will continue for the rest of the week,” he said.

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