Traders, under the aegis of Utako Market Shop Owners Traders Association, Utako district, yesterday staged a peaceful protest against insecurity and illegal demolition in parts of Utako Ultra Modern Market.
The traders, carrying placards, with different inscription, such as, ‘We Are Refugees In Our Fathers Lands’, ‘No Place Like Home’, ‘M. N. Ataj Construction Ltd Has Destroyed Our Market’ and ‘See What AMAC Chairman and M.N. Ataj Construction Ltd Have Done To Our Property’, among others, blocked the major roads leading to the market, thereby causing traffic gridlock in the area.
Leader of the group, Mr. Mike Ndu, while leading the protesters to the Utako Police Station, to present a letter to the DPO, lamented that AMAC has violated the law that gave close to 100 years to land occupants, before it is taken over by the government.
In a letter addressed to the DPO, which was signed by both the chairman and secretary of Utako Market Shop Owners/Traders Association, Nelson Onwuemeodo and Abdullahi Yusuf, respectively, members disclosed that over 20 cars, belonging to both traders and customers in the market, have been lost to thieves, in the last couple of months.
Onwuemeodo added that almost on daily basis, shops in the market are being bugled, with countless number of properties lost to the perpetrators.
He maintained that the ongoing illegal demolition at the front of the market, by M. N. Ataj Construction Ltd, in collaboration with the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), has heightened insecurity in the market.
“Our shops are being burgled everyday and goods stolen. We have lost count of the numbers. Some suffer it without recourse to report to the police, because police cannot do magic with the level of insecurity created by Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).”
The association chairman also alleged that the managers of the market have sold off every available space, such as roads, walk-ways, mini-park and car park to illegal attachment traders.
He therefore urged the Inspector General of Police IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to call the AMAC chairman, Hon. Adamu Abdullahi Candido, the management of M. N. Ataj Construction Ltd and their collaborators, to order for the interest of peace in the market.