Insecurity: FCTA begins demolition of popular Karmo market in Abuja

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By Chioma Nnodim

In an effort to get rid of insecurity, traffic congestion in Karmo axis of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, through its Department of Development Control has demolished over 500 illegal structure at the popular Karmo market in the territory.

Assistant Director, sector monitor in the Department Development Control, Tpl Garba Jibrin, during the exercise, yesterday, said that the administration decided to demolish the market, because the area has been encountering lots of bottlenecks because of the market since inception of Abuja.

According to Jibrin, there has been serious gridlocks on the Karmo road which has made it very difficult for motorists and residents of area to access the road on daily basis. “So, for us to make it easy for Abuja residents, the minister said we should open up the road by ensuring that all the bottlenecks along the road are cleared.

“Part of it is the informal commercial activities along the road. It is a known fact that every one that wants to pass here on a market day spends hours without, passing across. “So, the FCTA is concerned about the health and safety of every resident. There is a market that is opened, and fully built and waiting for the traders to come and occupy it.

“So, based on that, we have settled this problem here, that they should move away from here and relocate to the new market that has been built for them to occupy,” he said.

Jibrin, while speaking on how far the administration went in sensitising the traders, said that they were fully notified, sensitised and carried along in the demolition.

“The director has held meeting with stakeholders of this market more than three times. We even served them 24hours notice and this is 48hours after we served them the notice. We sincerely carried them along, that is why there is success in this operation. Some of them have started dismantling their shops even before we started, to proved that the have been carried along,” he said.

While speaking on the exorbitant price pegged on the new market shops by the developer, Jibrin noted that during the stakeholders meeting held, the Abuja market management and developers made it clear that they are offering a one year free operation for any one relocating from the demolished marker to the new market, without making any payment for the informal or formal sector.

“After that, they have subsidised the price for them after the one year, that they will not pay the normal rate. So they have made some arrangements to accommodate the operators of this market to make things easy for them,” he said.

However, the Secretary, Command and Control Centre, FCTA, Dr Peter Olumuji, while speaking on the security implications of the demolition exercise, said that Karmo community has been a settlement that was unplanned, that a lot of illegalities have been going on in the area.

“If you look at the road corridor that leads from Gwagwa to Karmo to Kado, which has the Karmo main market here, we have a lot of shanties and unplanned settlements that people hibernate.

“These people during the night time go into all types of crimes, even those who ply these routes are not safe from their nefarious activities. What we have come to do here in conjunction with the development control by clearing this place, it is going to reduce the crime rate within this axis.

“Also, it is going to bring in a new lease of life to whatever activities that is going on here. Because the minister of the FCT is concerned about the security and safety of everyone. He has assured the residents of the FCT that they can reside any where that is legal without any act of harassment or threats to your life,” he added.