Traders block FCT minister’s gate, demand land lease agreement
Angry Members of Apo Traders Association (ATASS) Tuesday protested and blocked the main entrance gate of FCT Minister, demanding release of land lease agreement to their permanent site.
The protesters armed with various placards, said the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) had granted them a lease on a land proposed as a permanent site for the traders in 2015, but up till now, the minister has refused to sign and formally release the agreement.
Chairman of the Association, Chief Chimezie Ifeh, said the traders had spent more than N100m in processing the land, held several meetings with relevant authorities, but no positive result has been achieved.
Ifeh noted that the Association is suspicious of the moves of some staff of FCTA, who had made some strange demands and tried to distort the allocation.
He alleged that trading by the road corridors, as allowed by FCTA, as a temporary measure has been very hazardous to members of the Association.
He called on the minister to sign and release the agreement, before leaving office in few days’ time, in order to save the traders from untold hardship.
He also vowed that the traders will continue to engage with relevant stakeholders and also protest when necessary, until the administration fulfils its own bargain.
Also Speaking, Okhueleigbe Desmond, Secretary of the Association disclosed that many of their members have died from vehicle accidents on the ever busy Apo road, because they have no conducive place for their trades.
According to him, FCT Minister’s delay in signing and releasing the agreement was a big disservice to the traders and Nigerians.
City & Crime reports that throughout the protest, the minister was said to be attending a special Federal Executive Council meeting at the villa.