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FCTA demolishes illegal market, settlement around Old Federal Secretariat

Andrew Tarker, Abuja

The Federal Capital Territory Administration ( FCTA), on Monday demolished the popular makeshift market and squatters settlement behind the Old Federal Secretariat, Area 1 Garki.

The demolition on was said to have been brought about by the wave of insecurity threatening the peaceful existence of the Secretariat’s occupants and other people within the environs.

Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Development Authority ( FCDA) Engr. Shehu Ahmed, who is also the Chairman of the Ministerial Joint Task Force said the operation was to ensure security around the old Secretariat, which still houses critical Federal Ministries and Agencies.

Ahmed decried the spate of criminalities that have taken over the large expanse of the land, behind the Secretariat, originally designed to be road and train transit corridors.

He disclosed that on the interim, the administration would create a temporary car park and a food court, as a measure to keep illegal occupants and criminals away from the place.

Senior Special Assistant to FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, Ikharo Attah said the operation was long overdue, notices having been dispatched to the affected victims.

Attah noted that security reports showed that the removed illegal structures constituted threats to the old Federal Secretariat where several Ministries are still being accommodated.

According to him, FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello has continued to condemn residents attitude of not obeying the laws made to guarantee peaceful coexistence in the city.

He revealed that following Ministerial directives, city sanitation will be sustained through aggressive exercises and enforcement of the laws.

While he warned that the exercise will continue throughout the week, he assured that the taskforce will continue to respect human rights in all its operations.

“We were here one week ago to warn them and asked them to park, some of them have parked, but those who are stubborn remained , thinking that we are not serious.

“The Minister has insisted that we can’t have wanton illegalities, gruesome contraventions and a rape of Abuja’s Masterplan in the heart of the city. This exercise will continue for the rest of the week.” He stated.

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