FCTA Clears Illegal Market, Shanties at Old Federal Secretariat  

By: Wisdom Acka

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has removed the popular makeshift market and squatter settlements behind the Old Federal Secretariat, Area 1 Garki. 

The exercise, which took place on Monday was said to have been necessitated by the wave of insecurity threatening peaceful existence of the Secretariat’s occupants and other people within the environs.

Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Development Authority (FCDA), Engr. Shehu Ahmad who led the operation explained that it was carried out to ensure security around the old Secretariat, which still houses critical Federal Ministries and Agencies.

Ahmad, who doubles as Chairman, Ministerial Joint Task Force decried the high rate of criminal activities taking place at the large expanse of land behind the Secretariat.

Disclosing that the area is originally designed to be road and train transit corridors, Ahmad said that, in the interim, the FCT Administration would create a temporary car park and a food court there, to keep illegal occupants and criminals away from the place.

Senior Special Assistant to FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, Comrade Ikharo Attah said that the operation was long overdue; adding that notices had already been dispatched to the affected victims. 

Attah noted that security reports indicated that the structures constituted threats to the Federal Secretariat.

According to him, the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello has continued to condemn residents’ attitude of not obeying the laws meant to guarantee peaceful coexistence and orderlines in the city.

He disclosed that following the Minister’s directives to keep the city clean, city sanitation would be sustained through aggressive exercises and enforcement of the laws. 

“We were here a week ago to warn them and ask them to move out, some of them have complied, but those who are stubborn remained, thinking that we are not serious. 

“The Minister has insisted that we can’t have wanton illegalities,  gruesome contraventions and a rape of Abuja’s Masterplan in the heart of the city. This exercise will continue for the rest of the week”, he said.