BY DAVID ADUGE-ANI
Traders in the popular Utako Market in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) have called on AMAC chairman, Hon Abdullahi Adamu Candido, to be transparent and open in the allocation of new shops in the remodeled market.
In an interview with LEADERSHIP, one of the traders, Mr. Testimony Okono alleged that shops in the new structures being erected in the market have been sold to civil servants and politicians loyal to the AMAC chairman.
“They have sold up the shops to civil servants and to themselves. I
heard that even the AMAC chairman himself has about five shops,” he alleged. Okono noted that building of structures on the markets car park began irrespective of the case being in court, just as he called on relevant authorities to prevail on AMAC to save their investments.
He stated that if AMAC wants to take over the market from the traders, they should negotiate on how to compensate the original shop owners, adding that the Utako Market was originally built by individuals with 99 years right.
“We don’t know that in a country where one belongs to, someone can just rise up in a day and come to do this kind of injustice done to us. We are in court and the developer and AMAC are contradicting court judgment.
They ought to stay clear of the market, but all we see is the erection of structures on our parking space. The project has been sold out but not to the market traders and no market executive is aware of anything.”
However, the supervisory councillor for works in AMAC, Hon Jagaba Sarki described the allegation as baseless and urged the traders to allow the council develops the market to standard, adding that decisions concerning the market cannot be taken without the knowledge and consent of the traders, who own the shops.
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