BY: Anthony Ogunleye
Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has announced the reopening of the Dei-Dei building materials market and the adjoining markets which were shut following the crisis that erupted at the market on the 18th of May, 2022.
The markets will re-open for business on Friday, 27th May 2022
Malam Bello broke the news on Thursday, 26th of May while addressing journalists after a meeting with major stakeholders of the Dei-Dei community, held at the FCDA Conference Hall, Garki, Abuja.
According to the Minster, all stakeholders at the meeting agreed that the Dei-Dei market fracas was not a ethnic inspired incident but a traffic accident that was hijacked by hoodlums. He revealed that the market will going forward, be re-organized and placed under relevant and proper supervision.
In the words of the Minister “This morning, we held a very important meeting with the stakeholders of the Dei Dei community, the leadership and the head of that community, His Royal Highness, Dr Idris Musa, MFR, the Sarkin Jiwa and all the leaders of the five major markets within that community, as well as religious leaders.
“Basically, we reaffirmed the need for peace in that community, as well as FCT in general, and discussed at length, all issues relating to last week’s incident that led to the destruction of properties and unfortunately, loss of lives.
“The conclusion of our meeting is that all the communities agreed that what happened was not a tribal or religious crisis. What happened was just an unfortunate accident that was overtaken by hoodlums in the community who created havoc. The general consensus now is that every community will make sure that miscreants and hoodlums are flushed out”.
Malam Bello also said that the meeting equally resolved that many of the structures in the market were erected in non-conformity with the Abuja Masterplan and corrective measures will be taken to correct these development anomalies.
Speaking on the activities of commercial motorcyclists known popularly as Okada, the Minister said that their operations will be brought under full regulation and control.
“Generally, the entire stakeholders agreed that peace is very important. Without peace, there will not be economic development and without peace, there will be no society. It was clearly reiterated that the FCT Administration will ensure that all rules and regulations are adhered to” the Minister added
Malam Bello also announced the constitution of a technical committee that would provide a comprehensive report and a roadmap for the re-development of the whole area for the benefit of the citizens.
The committee, which has four weeks to submit its report is chaired by TPL Ibrahim Ismaila, the Senior Special Assistant to the Minister on Land and Urban and Regional Planning and draws membership from the local and business community of the Dei-Dei area, the security agencies as well as officials of the FCT Administration. The traditional ruler of the Dei-Dei area, HRH Dr. Idris Musa the Sarkin Jiwa also sued for peace, saying they were all brothers and sisters and so should endeavour to live in peace at all times.
He said “We should be our brothers’ keepers and we should endeavour to live in peace with one another. We should instruct our followers to keep away from the past ugly incident to see that peace reigns in that area”, he admonished.
Corroborating the Minister and Sarkin Jiwa, Chairman of the Dei-Dei International Building Materials Market, Mr. Kingsley Orabuego, urged: “We have to live in peace as one nation.
“We are here to make ends meet and we cannot live without each other. We cannot progress without each other. So, I’m urging all the people of Dei-Dei Building Materials Market to live in peace and embrace each other”.
All the stakeholders expressed gratitude to the Minister for the decision to re-open the market
Also present at the meeting were Permanent Secretary, FCTA Mr Olusade Adesola, Chief of Staff to the Minister, Malam Bashir Mai-Bornu, the ES FCDA, Engr Shehu Hadi Ahmed, the FCT Commissioner of Police, Sunday Babaji, the Secretary of the Area Council Services Secretariat, Alh Ibrahim Dantsoho, other community leaders and senior officials of the FCTA.