FCT Minister Orders Closure Of Dei-Dei Market In Abuja After Fatal Clash

A photo combination of sections of the Dei-Dei market being gutted by fire and the FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello on May 18, 2022.
A photo combination of sections of the Dei-Dei market being gutted by fire and the FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello on May 18, 2022.

 

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr Mohammad Bello has ordered the closure of Dei-Dei international market indefinitely.

The order came following a clash between commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as okada riders, which claimed at least four lives.

The Minister gave the order after inspecting the scene of the incident alongside the FCT Commissioner of Police, Sunday Babaji and other security agencies.

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According to the Minister, trouble started in the market when a female trader fell off a commercial motorcycle and was crushed to death by an articulated vehicle.

While dismissing initial reports of a communal clash, he directed the community and market leaders to fish out the hoodlums responsible for the crisis.

‘Totally unacceptable’

“What really came out clearly is that this is an accident that occurred, unfortunately when a lady on a motorcycle fell off and I think a vehicle ran over her and unfortunately she passed away,” the Minister said.

“As a result of this incident, tension was high. And then hoodlums took over. And like they do everywhere in the world, their target is economic assets. And they burnt down a substantial part of the timber market and other markets around here; they burnt many vehicles.

“This is why I came here to really say that this is an accident that occurred, that went out of hand. There’s no communal clash here and I appeal to everybody in Abuja to live as we have always lived here – in peace. Because everybody has come to this city to earn a living and the economic activities of this city, particularly this part of the city, is very vibrant. A lot of people eke their daily living here.

“What I told the community leaders is that they have to fish out the hoodlums and bad eggs among them.

“This is more unfortunate because this time around, hoodlums carried arms. And they shot innocent people. As a matter of fact, I saw four corpses; this is very sad and totally and unequivocally unacceptable in Abuja.”

SON raids two markets in FCT and Nasarawa state

As part of efforts to rid the nation of fake and sub-standard products, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) stormed two major markets in Abuja and Nasarawa State to seize fake products.

The Head of Administration and Human Capital of the organisation, Mr. Paul Angya who led the exercise said the raid became imperative following the refusal of traders to stop selling fake and sub-standard goods.

The exercise which caught traders at Abuja International Building Materials Market and Mararaba Building Materials Market in Nasarawa state unaware saw the organisation sealing off some shops stocked with fake and sub-standard products.

Officials of the enforcement team of the organisation were accompanied by police officers when they stormed the Abuja International Building Materials Market in Dei-Dei, a satellite town in the Federal Capital Territory with the mission to rid the market of fake and sub-standard goods.

The raid however witnessed a minor resistance as one of the traders challenged the team for carrying out the exercise but he was promptly arrested.

With the arrest of one of the traders, officials of the organisation proceeded to seal some shops found to be stocking fake products but this brought about mixed reactions from some of the traders.

The Head of the enforcement team of the organization, who doubles as the Director, Administration and Human Capital, Paul Angya, however said that traders have no excuse to stock fake products having been given two weeks’ notice to clear the markets of such products.

A similar exercise was also carried out at neighboring Mararaba Building materials market in Nasarawa state where some fake products were seized.

The SON promised to make the exercise a regular one across the nation, so as to stop persons who specialize in stocking fake products from circulating substandard products.