As the nation’s capital intensifies operations on suspected criminal hideouts, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), said there was no turning back on the planned removal of Apo-Dutse Pantaker, the greatest scrape markets.
The Minister stated that the deadline they were given could only be extended by one week starting today (Friday), claiming that the location houses suspected criminal elements.
Comrade Ikharo Attah, the FCT Minister’s Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection, and Enforcement, said in an interactive meeting with Pantaker market stakeholders on Friday that the Minister has given the market a marching order to be removed.
He noted that Operators of the Pantaker market admitted that the place was riddled with several challenges, but pleaded for enough time to enable them remove all their property.
Attah noted that the decision to extend the ultimatum by one week, was due to the Ramadan. He explained that the Minister demonstrated magnanimity, but insist that the location of the market was illegal and contravenes Urban and Regional planning rules.
According to him: ” FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello has given a marching order to clear the place, because criminals are largely hibernating their, even the the people have admitted that the criminals have stollen some electrical installations there.
” We have warned them and given them ultimatum before, but they pleaded that their pantaker is not like the other ones, but the biggest in the country. They said that parking their things will take almost one month. We reviewed it because of the Ramadan and agreed on one week after the Sallah to vacate the place”, Attah hinted.
One of the leaders of Apo-Dutse Pantaker Market Association, Ambusa Umar , stated the operators have consented to the decision of the administration, but pleaded for two weeks, instead of one.
Umar added that the operators are law abiding citizens, working to eke out a living and also contribute to the country’s economic growth.
He equally acknowledged that the place have had security challenges, but urged the administration to consider their request.