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Tension at Dei Dei Market as Traders, Okada Riders Hold Separate Meetings

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There was tension Thursday at Dei Dei Market in the Federal Capital Territory, which was closed after an attack by a group of motorcycle taxi operators (okada riders).

Traders held meetings in groups depending on the section of the market they belong to, while some weapon-wielding motorcyclists also assembled in clusters, watching the traders.

Armed security personnel provided the barrier needed to prevent another deadly clash.

The market was a ghost of its former self with all shops closed while roads were devoid of the usual hustle and bustle.

The traders however did not hold back their frustration as they vehemently protested the closure of the market while the okada riders were allowed to go about their business.

‘‘I know that the closing of the market is just to calm down the situation. We don't think that it is going to last because this is where we feed our families.

“Whatever transpired, our concern is to see that by the grace of God the minister will see it fit to open our market within a short time.’

“As far as I am concerned, to me, our side is not the fault for what happened. This market is not the fault for what happened.

“So, the thing happened outside, it’s an outside case, not even market case. 

“I wish it’s the market that looked for trouble. This would have been an issue, this is not a market issue, this is something that happened along the road.

“So, shutting down the market is not the best option as far as I am concerned.

“All things that have been happening since, what has the minister done than keeping us like this, some of us are family members,” one of the traders said.

The Vice-chairman of the Dei-Dei International building materials market, Celestine Ekebo expressed concerns over the development but noted that the administration's decision was in the best interest of the territory and its residents.

He called on both the affected and non-affected members of the market to cooperate with the administration until the necessary investigations are concluded.

He said the administration, through the Abuja Market Management Limited has asked the traders to evaluate the properties destroyed and present a report to the administration for possible compensation.

The FCT Deputy Commissioner of Police, Fom Pam told Nigeria Info that the police has collaborated with sister agencies to formulate a strategy that would ensure normalcy is restored to the area.


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