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FCTA to shut Gudu market over infractions, insecurity

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By Ben Adoga

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has threatened to shut down the popular Gudu Market over infractions and criminal activities in the market. The Gudu Electrical and Auto Spare Parts Market in Abuja, in recent times, has defied all sense of sanity which has angered the Abuja Markets Management Limited, AMML, operators of major markets in the FCT.

Flagging a court order to shut down the facility and sanitise it, AMML stormed the market with a combined team of FCT Ministerial Committee on City Sanitation and Enforcement squad of Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB). The regulator also issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the traders, while warning them of imminent enforcement of a court order to rid the market of all illegalities.

The managing director, Abuja Market Management Limited, Arc. Ibrahim Uzaibat confirmed that traders had been alerted over several contraventions and criminal activities tarnishing the image of the market.

Uzaibat said all major markets in Abuja have an approved blueprint that must not be compromised, and that comprehensive sanitation exercise had commenced in some of the markets to restore sanity and shoppers’ confidence.  He warned that a court order had been issued on the traders and that it would soon be carried out.

 “Before this happens, however, on behalf of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, we wish to inform every trader, shop owner, market user and other stakeholders in Gudu Market, Abuja of the plan to sanitise the market of all illegal incursions, trading activities in unauthorised places as well as all criminal elements,” Uzaibat noted.

The Chairman, FCT Ministerial Committee on City Sanitation, Ikharo Attah said the exercise had become necessary, as the market had been overtaken by illegalities that threaten public safety.

Attah noted that the nuisance created by the traders in the market was a “disaster waiting to happen.”

He explained that security and safety in the market cannot be compromised for anything and thus the planned sanitation exercise.

Attah noted: “What the traders own in this market is their shops and not the walk ways and parking lots. The traders have turned the car parks into warehouses.  “72 hours has been given to them and if they don’t comply, FCTA will have no other choice than to enforce the court order, totally shut down the market and cleans it.

“We want to make the market safe for all, because what we see here is a disaster waiting to happen. In an event of fire outbreak, it would be difficult for rescue vehicles to access the market”, Attah added.

Also speaking, the head of enforcement squad, AEPB, Kaka Bello, confirmed that the 72-hour ultimatum was given to enable various unions in the market to correct all the wrongs. He added that, “We are here to enforce a court order on the cleaning of the market.  The market has been characterised by all forms of nuisance by traders who display their wares on walk ways, car parks and other places. We are giving them 72 hours to remove all the nuisances”.

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