Miscreants took to the street of Mpape on Monday snatching women’s hand bags and cell phones as the FCT Ministerial Task Force on City Sanitation resumed demolition exercise after three days break.
Trouble ensued when FCT Task Team led by the chairman, Ikharo Attah had removed shanties, brothels, worship centres and National Union of Road Transport Workers Office (NURTW) on the ever busy road, as miscreants harassed passerby.
The hoodlums were immediately dispersed by the combined team of security personnel, paving way for motorists and other passerby to ply the road freely.
Fielding questions from journalists after the clean up exercise, Attah said the exercise will be sustained till December.
Attah, said the decision has become necessary following the return of shanties barely one week after the last demolition.
He said the exercise which was originally planned for three weeks will have to be extended, to discourage the reemergence of illegal structures along the Mpape road corridor.
Attah, who lamented that Mpape has proven to be more complex than conventional encroachment, vowed that Mpape is now a theater of operation clean up that will be sustained.
“Today we are back to Mpape for what appears to be the most massive job since we came into Mpape community. We have begged residents of the area to vacate the road side where we are having enormous challenges because of the scrap market sitting on the road bed.
“The challenges of the roadside is also occasioned by the old shanty market that is badly bastardized in terms of urban and regional town planning use and practices so we had to torch the panteka market as well as the shanty market which are clearly a violation of town planning and the Abuja master plan.
“We thought the clean up in Mpape will be done in three weeks, but what we have seen in the last week that we were not on ground shows that the operation clean up Mpape will last till the end of this year. We can’t leave Mpape till the end of this year, we may not be standing here every day but it will be routine and periodic clean up.
“We are telling the people not to be decieved Mpape is a theater of operation clean up.
“The minister of FCT malam Muhammad Bello had handed over Mpape to us as a task team to clean up the whole area and report back to him, if he is not satisfy we will continue till next year,” he warned.
The demolition operation carried out by a Joint Task Force made up of officers across security agencies, also saw the removal of the Mpape scrap market, popularly called panteka market, alongside brothels and other structures.
The panteka market notorious for the sale of stolen goods and illicit drugs, is said not to only provide cover for criminals, but also contribute to traffic build up on the Mpape lone road.
Also reacting, the Secretary, Command and Control of the FCT Security Department, Mr. Peter Olujimi, assured that the sustained cleanup operations will dislodge miscreants and criminals from their hideouts.
He said the panteka has provided cover for criminals elements for years now, adding that the demolition of the market will however bring an end to crimes in the area.