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FCTA Finally Removes 1,800 Shanties in Abuja’s Largest Scavenger Market

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has finally pulled down 1,800 illegal shops and shanties at Apo-Dutse market.

Traders at the pantaker market were visibly panicked and confused the moment they sighted the FCTA bulldozer on Thursday.

They ran helter-skelter to salvage their properties.

The removal of the shanties follows a series of quit notices spanning over four months to the pantaker traders.

The FCTA issued its final 24-hour-ultimatum to the traders on Wednesday.

The Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT Minister, Ikharo Attah said over 4,000 shops and shanties will be removed from the market which is regarded as the largest illegal scavenger market in the territory.

According to Mr. Attah, the administration received complaints of security challenges in the district due to the ever-busy Apo-Dutse pantaker market.

"The Minister of FCT, Malam Muhammad Bello; FCT Police Commander, Sunday Babaji; and several others have raised concerns over what is going on here.

“There are good people here and there are very bad and wrong people here. Because it is an illegal market, in fact, the largest, not only in Abuja but in the whole of the central region.

"The FCT Minister gave the directive that we should clear the entire market so that those who are plot owners here will be able to take over their lands and start development of mass housing.

“The market is illegal and very dangerous, the FCTA has matched its words with action,” he said.

Mr. Attah said the demolition will continue until 4,000 shops and shanties are removed.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Association of Scrap Dealers at the market, Anas Ismail, said most of the youths that operate in the area depend on the scrap business for survival.

He appealed to the FCT Administration to provide another place for genuine scrap dealers to continue with their business.

"We can't fight the government, but now that the market is demolished there should be another place for us to relocate, else some may turn to criminals," he said.

The coordinator of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMAC), Shuaibu Umar, who came on an inspection tour, told journalists that the size of the pantaker covers over 50 hectares of land.

"We started the demolition process in Apo-Dutse Pantaker market almost three months ago.

“The size of this area is very big, people are living here illegally, they have no permission, the administration gave them adequate time.

"Getting rid of this type of development is for the good of the entire city, if you leave them to take over the place there won't be sanity," Mr. Umar pointed out.

He disclosed that a number of real estate owners have been unable to develop their plots due to the illegal occupation of their lands, and the criminal activities at the Apo-Dutse market.

"The number of criminals here is higher than those doing their legitimate businesses,” he said.


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