Insecurity, gridlock: FCTA begins massive demolition of Abuja popular market

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has commenced the demolition of 500 illegal structures at the popular Karmu market along the road corridor of Kado-Karmo-Gwagwa.

The demolition was carried out through the Department of Development Control.

Director, Department of Development Control, Federal Capital Territory Administration, Tpl Muktar Galadima, who led the operation, told reporters that the exercise became necessary to ensure smooth movement and tackle insecurity on the axis.

Galadima, who was represented by an Assistant Deputy Director in the department, Garba JiJibrin, said: “What we are trying to do is to open the road corridor for Karmo -Deidei road corridor, which has been having a lot of bottlenecks for years.

“There has been gridlock on this road which has been a big problem for motorists and Abuja residents.

“The FCT Minister, therefore ordered for the opening of the road corridor and to ensure that all the bottlenecks along the road are cleared and part of it is the informal commercial activities.

“It is a known fact that anyone that wants to pass this road on a market day is so difficult that you spend hours just passing the road. By this, the FCT Minister was concerned about the safety of residents who are making use of the road corridor.

There is a market that has been opened and fully completed and waiting for occupation by residents in this area, saying: “We have already told them that they should move away from the road corridor and move into the new market space that has been provided for them”.

He stressed that the FCT Administration, being mindful of the high costs of shops, decided to allow the free usage of the market for one year, alongside other palliatives to make the shops accessible.

Reacting to allegations by some of the victims that they were not notified, Galadima refuted: “The market users were fully sensitized and notified about their relocating to the market space provided for them.

“The management has met with all the stakeholders -the market operators, traditional rulers and developers. In fact, the Director has visited them on more than three occasions and even delayed the demolition of this market.

“The Director also brought them to see things on the ground, and two days ago, we gave them 24-hour notice and now we are here after 48 hours.”

Also speaking, Secretary of Command and Control Unit, Dr. Peter Olumuji corroborated that insecurity, which was a major challenge in the area, would be a thing of the past.

He said: “Karmo has been on the ground. A lot of illegalities are seriously going on in this area. And if you look at the road corridor, there are lots of shanties and a lot of criminals are hibernating and at night a lot of them come out to commit crimes and criminal activities.

“What we are doing here in collaboration with Development Control is to clear the road corridor which will reduce the crime rate in this area. And it would bring a new lease of life to residents in this area.

“The Minister is committed to the security and safety of every resident in Abuja and he has assured the residents that you can reside anywhere as long as it is legal without any fear or concern.”

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