FCTA closes Dutse-Alhaji market
Pix: A section of the market
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Monday indefinitely closed Olajumoke Akinjide Plaza Dutse-Alhaji, Abuja, for alleged illegalities in the market.
Mr. Ihkaro Attah, Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of the FCT on Supervision, Inspection and Enforcement, who led the operation, lamented the rate of alleged violations including the incriminated dumping of rubbish in the market.
” We ordered the indefinite closure of Olajumoke Akinjide Plaza Dutse-Alhaji due to the extreme contraventions that we have noticed a couple of weeks ago.
“It is a very offensive garbage that is not collected correctly, so much attachment in several corners, the drains do not distil, the drains were like dumpsters.
“We had to close it as instructed by the Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, pending the environmental challenges in the market, illegal attachment and garbage collection to be addressed.
“And the next time we come here and we are convinced that they have done what is necessary, we will reopen it.”
“But they assured us that they want to start the work now and it will be done quickly and we will come to check for reopening, but for now the market is closed indefinitely,” he said.
The minister’s assistant, however, praised the traders in the main Dutse-Alhaji market for cleaning up the market.
“You can see the merchants in the Dutse-Alhaji main market arriving in numbers to clean their shops and the environment in preparation for the reopening of the market on Tuesday,” he said.
For his part, the Secretary of the FCTA Command and Control Center, Mr. Peter Olumuji, denounced the increase in the crime rate in the market.
“In addition to the environmental problems that we notice in the market, the crime rate is gradually increasing, structures are being built in which criminal elements can stay and hide.
And some of them even sleep in these makeshift attachments.
“Store owners have been complaining about theft, part of what we’re doing is removing all those hidden places and attachments,” he said.
Meanwhile, a store owner who did not want his name used accused the market’s management and executive of selling the illegal spaces to small merchants and charging them money.
But Chigozie, a shop owner in the main Dutse-Alhaji market, praised the FCTA for the cleanup, but appealed to the administration to provide an alternative space for small shopkeepers.
Source Credit: NAN