By: Wisdom Acka
Recreational Parks and Gardens in Wuse and Maitama Districts were at the weekend shut down for operating beyond 7pm in contravention of “The Abuja Parks Regulation 2005”.
Recall that the FCT Administration recently commenced implementation of the 2005 Regulations governing the operations of Parks and Gardens in Abuja, which provides for operational time of 8am – 7pm.
The enforcement team comprising Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), Departments of Parks & Recreation, Development Control amongst others, accompanied by a joint team of armed policemen and other para-military personnel at about 8pm stormed these areas and ordered their immediate closure.
The FCT Administration being concerned about the security of lives and property around the city has to enforce the regulation because the overall interest of the residents in the Federal Capital City is paramount.
Most affected were fun seekers, who had throned the SMINOFF Hang Outs at PAPIEE’S Meatro Recreation Center, inside a hitherto Children’s Park, which was purportedly converted into a criminal den as well as night club, within Lungi crescent, off Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse II District, Abuja.
Speaking during the exercise, Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Umar Shaibu, said Park operators must ensure that they respect the city’s regulations and rights of other members of the nation’s capital.
He described as disheartening a situation that where Park operators are operating their business, and getting money daily, at the expense of the peace, security and serenity of others within the neighbourhoods.
He, therefore, reiterated that the FCTA enforcers are going to comb every part of the city, to make sure that residents have peace of mind in the night.
According to him: “We are enforcing The Abuja Parks Regulation 2005, and the regulation states that closing time is 7 PM daily, which all Parks must abide by.”
His words: “We don’t want to trample on peoples’ right, but you should know that your right ends when your neighbours right is infringed upon. So we must not be selfish. We are here to enforce our regulation of closing time of 7 PM, and to make sure that we give the neighbourhoods where Parks are situated peace and adequate security to enjoy their rest every night”.
“If any park operator is proven to be recalcitrant, we have power to seal up and to even revoke,” he emphasized.
“According to the regulations, whenever you are given allocation, there are laid down rules and regulations. But when you are not complying with the rules and regulations, we have the power to revoke the building approval and even the allocation,” the Coordinator added.
Similarly, Director, Department Development Control,
Tpl Murktar Galadima, warns that “whoever is trying to convert Parks into other uses, should know that we are sanitising the city, and we are restoring the Abuja Master plan and we must get it right.
He stressed that one of the parks is supposed to be a neighbourhood park that children and youth can walk in, sit and relax as well as recreate. But incidentally, this land use has been fundamentally changed from children neighbourhood park to what could be qualified as brothel (strippers club) and criminal hideouts. So, this is no longer a recreational park.
Accordingly, we will follow the necessary due process and procedure to correct the abuse, which may culminate in revocation and demolition”, the Director restated.