Insecurity: FCTA demolishes over 1,800 shanties in Apo Dutse Pantaker Market


By Kingsley Madaki

Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA on Thursday, demolished over 1,800 shops, and shanties in Apo-Dutse, Abuja over what it described as being part of its strategies to tackle security challenges in the nation’s capital Abuja.

The Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the minister of FCT, Comrade Ikharo Attah also revealed that over 4,000 shops and shanties will be removed in the next few days.

He made this known while demolishing shanties and pantaker market at Apo-Dutse, in Abuja, adding that “We have gotten intensive complaints of security challenges in the district here occasion by the very ever-busy Apo-Dutse pantaker market and that has been very worrisome here.

“The Minister of FCT, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, FCT Police Commander 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 in fact the largest not only in Abuja but in 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 its words with action.

“Everyone who lives around here is scared before now, we have gotten complaint through the Ministers, Royal father’s 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 a 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 a new site where they can sell scrap there”, he said.

Attah explained that: “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 the pantaker in a very bad light here.”

“Having dislodged them here many will seek a better ground to do their business.”

“We cannot estimate how many shanties have been removed but in the final analysis, we are expecting to see over 4,000 shops, shanties and others removed. As of today alone we can estimate that about 1,800 archers and in the next few days, we are sure we will be cleaning all together”, he added.

The Chairman Association of Scrap Dealers, Apo-Dutse pantaker market, Anas Ismail, while fielding questions from journalists said most of the youths that operate in the area depend on the scrap business for survival.

He, however, appealed to the FCT Administration to provide a place for the genuine scrap dealers to continue with their business.

Ismail stressed that with the high level of insecurity in the country, the traders who are mostly youth should be given serious attention.

“We can’t fight the government, but now that the market is demolished there should be another place for us to relocate else some may turn to criminals”

Meanwhile, the Coordinator Abuja Metropolitan Management Council AMMC, Shuaibu Umar, who came for inspection, told journalists that, the size of the pantaker market is almost equivalent to a district of over 50 hectres of land.

“We started the demolition process in Apo -Dutse Pantaker market almost three months ago, the size of this area is very big, people are living here illegally, they have no permission, the administration gave them adequate time.

“Getting rid of this type of development is for the good of the entire city, if you leave them to take over the place there won’t be sanity”, he added.

He lamented that many developers have plots there but can’t access them because of the illegal acts but with the removal of the shanties they will take over their plots.

“The level of criminal activities here is higher than those doing their legitimate businesses.

“This place could be about 50 hectres of land or more, it is the actual survey that will determine but is almost a district”, he said.