The Punch

Abuja estate residents tackle LG over market location

- Solomon Odeniyi, Abuja

RESIDENTS of the Mab Global Estate in Gwarinpa area of the Federal Capital Territory have rejected the approval given to private entities by the Abuja Municipal Area Council to site a market on an expanse of land beside the estate.

The residents hinged their opposition on past experience, where criminal elements and miscreants used makeshift shops on the land as their hideouts. AMAC had in a letter signed

the Coordinato­r, AMAC

Revenue Services, Awoja Danlami, dated February 26, 2021, and addressed to the Chairman, Galadima Community Market Associatio­n, conveyed the council’s approval to temporaril­y relocate victims of fire incidents in the Yan Kasuwa Market to the piece of land in question.

A copy of the letter obtained by our correspond­ent on Saturday read in part: “I have been directed to inform you that after a careful considerat­ion of your request and in order to relocate those that were affected by fire incident at the Yan Kasuwa Market, the Revenue Division of the Council has granted temporary approval for you to use the buffer zone around the Mab Global Estate in Gwarinpa for your business activities on a temporary basis.”

However, in a joint petition signed by D. O. Osuofa, Ahmed Ihedioha and Chris Umogbai on behalf of others, the residents explained that the shanties that existed on the portion of land served as criminal hideouts until security operatives and officials of the Developmen­t Control Department of the Federal Capital Developmen­t Authority pulled down the structures.

They further argued that

AMAC lacked the authority to allocate the land to the traders.

The petition read in part, “An approval has been granted by AMAC to site a temporary market on the buffer zone recently cleared of Shanties by the Developmen­t Control Department of Federal capital Developmen­t Authority around Mab Global Estate, Karsana.

“The previous shanties and illegal market housed criminals and suspected bandits, who terrorised the adjoining estates in the past. The police, on several occasions, raided the shanties and recovered guns, other weapons and hard drugs. The shanties provided cover for the criminals, who used them as a cover.

“We are shocked that AMAC swiftly issued an illegal approval to return the market and shanties to the same area that was cleared by the FCDA

“Moreover, AMAC does not have the right to approve or locate a new market in a buffer zone. This action will further compromise our security effort and put residents of the estate at a higher risk, which we have managed to a bearable level before now and furthermor­e compromise the master plan of Abuja.”

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