In its quest in ensuring a safe and sane city, the Federal Capital Territory administration, (FCTA) has removed over 1, 800 illegal shanties and shops from the Apo-Dutse scrap market, with an additional 4, 000 others marked for demolition on Thursday.

The FCT administration had in April threatened to demolish the market dubbed to be Abuja's biggest scrap market and at the time gave operators one week ultimatum to move from the site, insisting that the place harbours suspected criminal elements.

The Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT Minister, Ikharo Attah, said the haphazard display of corrugated steel and other items constitute traffic nuisance to the area, with several security complaints.

Attah, while speaking with journalists shortly after the demolition exercise, said plot owners will now be able to take over their land and start development of mass housing.

"The Minister of FCT, Malam Muhammad Bello, FCT PoliceCommissioner, Sunday Babaji, and several others have raised concern over what is going on here. There are good people here and there are very bad and wrong people here. Because it is an illegal market, infact the largest not only in Abuja but the whole of the central region. 
"The FCT minister gave the directive that we should clear the entire market so that those who are plot owners here will be able to take over their land and start development of mass housing, the market is illegal and very dangerous, the FCTA has marked it's words with action. 
"Before now we have gotten complaint through the minister, royal fathers and other persons that what is happening here is very dangerous and it is inimical to the wellbeing of FCT. "What is happening here is a dispersal of persons who have fertile breeding ground for crime. Many of them are going to do well in life in any other trade and many of them are going to move whatever they are moving out of here to new site where they can sell scrap there."
Attah however noted that having the scrap market is not a bad thing but the activities around it is what brought about the demolition.

"Pantaker is not a bad thing and has never been a bad thing, but what some bad people do around pantaker market is what is painting them in bad light. Having dislodge them here many will seek a better ground to do their business."

The chairman, Association of Scrap Dealers, Apo-Dutse Pantaker market, Anas Ismail who was visibly sad about the move said most of the youths that operate in the area depend on the scrap business for survival.

Appealing to the FCT Administration to provide a place for genuine scrap dealers to continue with their businesses, Ismail explained that with the high level of insecurity in the country, the traders who are mostly youth should be given serious attention to dissuade them from crime.


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