FCT Development Control to begin construction of transit corridor
By Uche Bibilari/Funmi Adeyemi
The construction of a transit way corridor on the recently demolished canopy market at Zone Three, Abuja, will soon begin, according to Mr Muktar Galadima, the Acting Director, Department of Development Control, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC).
Galadima made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
NAN reports that the market was demolished on Sept. 23 following several warning to traders to evacuate their goods.
Galadima said that the demolition was carried out to allow for a road construction to ease the problem of gridlock on the arteries.
“As I always say, Abuja is a creation of law and the development of Abuja is guided by a document called Abuja Master Plan where every space has been planned for.
“Where you call the Zone Three Neighbourhood Centre or where people call Canopy Market is a transit way corridor or a road corridor.
“Construction work will take effect any moment from now and the occupants of that transit way corridor knew that they where there ona temporary basis’’.
He said that the letter given to the traders by the FCT authority stated that they had the right to remove them anytime without notice, adding that they agreed to the terms of the letter.
According to him, the traders where adequately informed of the intended demolition of the market since July and were advised to evacuate their valuables.
“We had marked the structure since July and a week to the demolition; we were there on site to enlighten them on the need to evacuate the area before the demolition.
“We told them to remove their valuable items, but some of them were adamant, believing that we would not come for the demolition.
“The demolition was done as promised but hopefully, before the end of the month you will see some construction activities there.
“What we intend to do is to try and open the road even on a temporary basis so that some of the problems we are experiencing in the major arteries will be reduced.’’
Meanwhile, Mr Joseph Odey, said some of the traders sustained losses due to the demolition because of inadequate time to evacuate their goods.
Odey said that with the current economic recession, the demolition had imposed additional suffering on the citizenry.
“When Development Control came, they gave us about two to three hours to vacate and move our property but it was not possible for us to remove all our belongings.
“We don’t have anywhere to go and as you can see, people are still hanging around to see if they can make some sales.’’
He said that with a population of about 3,000 traders currently without anything doing, it would only worsen the challenge the country was facing and compound the unemployment situation.
“We are about 3,000 traders in this market and as you can see; every one of us is stranded.
“ We are calling on the government to assign another place that we can do our business,’’ Odey said.
Also, Mr Williams Ijakoli, another trader, said that he was now stranded as his goods worth about N300, 000 had been stolen.
“They came for demolition early in the morning. I was not even there; from the gate people where rushing out I asked what was happening. Before I could know they have demolished the other places.
“Before I could get to my shop my neighbours had broke into my shop and parked my goods for me. A lot of things are missing and a lot of people have similar issues as me.’’