In continuation of its reinvigorated effort to rid Abuja of environmental nuisances, the FCT Ministerial Taskteam on City Sanitation, Monday cleared illegal attachments and Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in Wuse Zone 4 area of Abuja.
In particular, the Taskteam cleared shanties mainly made of roofing sheets, sacks, and wood situated within a reserved green area adjacent Sheraton Hotel, where BDC operators and petty traders were caught carrying out their activities in the busy area.
Also removed were two mosques inside the green vegetation, and illegal cluster of furniture making workshops under the foot of a bridge near Ya’Adua Centre in the area.
Furthermore, several vehicles were also towed from the area, allegedly dominated by illicit structures serving as criminal hideouts.
Explaining the exercise, Chairman FCT Ministerial Committee on City Sanitation, Comrade Ikharo Attah said the operation followed a strict ministerial directive.
Attah revealed that the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello about a month ago visited there, and saw the high scale of contraventions in the heart of the city, where people who deal in currencies operate recklessly.
“Today, we can out on an operation to clear those persons who are roadside traders, owners of batchers, shanties and furniture market under the Wuse Zone 4 Bridge.
“We saw much bleeding points in the city, and the FCT Minister insisted that we must clear all, and he even insisted that BDC operators who are operating on the roadside should not be, as they should go back to their shops, and do their businesses.
“We saw batchers in the valley, which removed; we saw and removed illegal attachments in the area, and while we are removing street traders and hawkers, we can’t allow those who deal in currencies to remain on the road. So, the Minister had given directive to the AEPB and other teams to pin down and ensure that.
“One thing that is so key is that we discovered a stolen manhole cover, which the AEPB team will handover to relevant agency of the FCTA,” he stated.
Also speaking, Assistant Director, Monitoring and Enforcement, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Kaka Bello, revealed that a lot of environmental nuisance were being constituted by traders and those hawking currencies there. We have also food vendors, people indulged in sales of illicit drugs and number of shanties.
Bello noted the place was an eyesore, which is not acceptable and it contributes badly to the quality of the city’s environment.
He emphasised that the AEPB will ensure that the exercise is continuous, as its presence will be there on a daily basis.
According to him, most of the offices in Zone 4 are owned by BDCs but unfortunately some of them resolved to be trading outside, which is illegal.
“We want to appeal to all these people, who have turned the place into their aboard illegally to please vacate, as places like that are not meant for such illegalities. They should take advantage of the markets within the city, where they can go and sell their wares.
“For the Bureau De Change Operators, they should please ensure that they carry out their businesses within their office premises, not by the road corridors. We also appeal to the general public especially those who patronise BDCs to please patronise them in their offices.
“And anybody caught outside operating will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly, and the Mobile Courts are already on standby, waiting for people, who are indulged in these activities to be arrested and brought before it.”
Similarly, Secretary FCT Command and Control Centre, Peter Olumuji noted that the place hitherto to the raid constituted a serious security threats to lives and property in the Territory, due to multifaceted nefarious activities there.