The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has closed the popular Oloye Olajumoke Modern Market in Dutse-Alhaji, Bwari Area Council, over violence between traders and officials of environmental department of the council.
Speaking with newsmen after closing down the market, the chairman of the Ministerial Task Team on Traffic Management in the FCT, Ikharo Attah, explained that the trouble started during the cleaning exercise, when some angry trader attacked the officials of the Environmental Department of Bwari area council and the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), burning down their office outlet in the area.
According to report, 25 suspected persons have been arrested by the police following the violence in the area.
Mr Attah revealed that based on the incident, the minister of FCT, Malam Muhammad Bello, in collaboration with the chairman of Bwari area council, John Gabaya, have endorsed the immediate closure of the market until further notice.
He stated that the market would remain closed until when the FCT minister and the Bwari area council chairman must satisfy that the market is safe for traders and customers before it would be reopened, adding that a fact-finding committee would be set up to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident.
On his part, the Secretary of Bwari Area Council, Kadanya Eli Peter, said that some officials of the environmental department was actually injured during the violence, while others were seriously petted during the incident.
Mr Peter explained that the cleaning exercise was necessitated following the FCT minister’s visit to the market last week, who expressed worry over the poor sanitary state of the market, and ordered for a cleanup exercise.
He revealed that the occupants of the illegal structures and attachments were given five days quit notice before the commencement of the removal exercise, which entered its second day on Tuesday.