Popular #FCT Surplus Food Market demolished without alternative : Gosa residents protest market demolition
Some residents of Gosa, a village along Airport Road, Abuja, on Monday staged a protest against the demolition of their Market by the FCT Administration.
Some of the residents, who spoke with news correspondents, said that the market was demolished on Saturday, March 24.
According to them, the market is the place where they carry out their businesses and take care of their families.
Mrs Mary David said that with the demolition of the market many families would suffer considering the fact that there was no job as many people were unemployed.
David said that the market was always busy, especially on Fridays as people from different places come to buy and sell at the market.
Another resident, Malam Beko Idris, said that the youth were expressing displeasure with the development because the market was the source of their income.
“I don’t know what this government wants people to do, no job yet the only the source of getting money is being demolished.
“They are asking us to move down to Gwagwalada for our business, how can one cope with this hard time.
“At least the government should have made provision for another market before demolishing the old one, ” he said.
There was a team of security operatives at the Abuja airport road, where the market was located to enforce law and order.
One of the security agents said that there was no casualty during the protest because they were being civil in their approach.
Meanwhile, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) Coordinator, Umar Shuaibu, said that the council embarked on the demolition to arrest the incidence of blockage of the Gosa portion of the Abuja Airport Express Road.
According to Shuaibu, this is with a view to protect lives and arrest the gross violation of traffic rules on a major gateway to the city.
“This became necessary because of the clear and present danger that illegal trading on the buffers and shoulders of the road portend to lives and property.
“Gosa Market was located deep inside the community, off the express road buffer zone, but has since spilt beyond its bounds into the Airport Expressway.
He lamented that the blockage was the reason for some of the accidents being witnessed on the road.
The coordinator gave examples of regular gross violation of traffic rules with motorcyclists and cab drivers running against traffic in order to do brisk business.
“For some time, travellers on the Airport road every day, especially on Fridays suffer untold hardships on their ways to or from Abuja, as they have to endure traffic hold-ups occasioned by traders blocking the road.
“This has resulted to missing of flights and time wastage,’’ he added.
Shuaibu recalled that the agency had held several meetings with stakeholders of the market, warning them against trading on the road buffers and shoulders but that the meetings had yielded no meaningful result.
“What we did today was to remove the empty stalls. We did not even touch the containers, which were under lock and key because of the merchandise inside them.
“We, however, told the security men to inform owners to come and move these containers and stalls to the required 500 meters off the express road as required by law,’’ he said.
The coordinator stated that the containers’ owners have been put on notice to move them inside as officials of the Development Control Department would be coming back for final clearance.
He said this is being done because the current FCT Administration has a policy of not wanting to see the people suffer but would not abdicate its responsibility for the maintenance of law and order.
Shuaibu, who is Town Planner, appealed to the people to cooperate with the FCTA in its efforts to make Abuja a sane city.
The coordinator expressed regret over the temporary blockage of the road by demonstrating traders, on Saturday, whom he said, have misconstrued their illegalities into a right.
He expressed delight that the road was cleared on time, enough to allow motorists to continue with their journey.
The clearance of the road started on Saturday with the traders blocking the expressway in protest.
By News Agency of Nigeria - March 27, 2018