By: Janet Peni & Darlington Omotoso
The Director, Abuja Environmental Protection Board, (AEPB), Engr. Osilamah Braimah, has said that the Board has shut down Garki International Market, early Friday morning, following a court order issued to that effect.
The Director dropped this hint in his office, immediately after the officials of the Board sealed up the market.
Braimah explained that whilst the Board is not happy shutting down the market, AEPB will be failing in its responsibility, if the market is allowed to operate in its current deplorable condition.
The Director said, “Environmental Health Officers of the Board carrying out routine monitoring activities in the market, 10 days ago, noticed the filthy market environment, garbage littered all over the place and bleeding sewer lines. Following our standard protocol, we served them an abatement notice, giving them the required time allowable under the law, to clean up. They ignored the notice and refused to clean up, rather the pile of garbage in the market premise grew worse. It is indeed a sad spectacle to behold fruits and vegetables being sold in close proximity to damaged sewer lines and heaps of garbage. We simply went to court to obtain the court order to seal up the market. That is what we have implemented this morning. This means that every commercial activity grinds to a halt, because the situation as it is, is a recipe for an epidemic.”
Braimah said that an epidemic waiting to happen will not be tolerated in Abuja, this informed our decision to the promptly and decisively tackle the embarrassing situation.
His words: “It is more economically beneficial than allowing trading to go on as usual in a filthy market environment.”
“Placing financial interests of traders above the greater public health of the general populace is indeed an expensive mistake that we cannot afford to make,” he added.
The director remarked that once the managers of the market undertake to clean up, they will be allowed to resume trading in the market.
“As soon as they do the needful, we will go back to the court to obtain a court order to unseal the market for operations,” he reiterated.