By: Wisdom Acka
Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Joint Task Force on Wednesday dislodged illegal shops and confiscated building materials consisting of bags of cement and PVCs belonging to traders on walkways around the Gudu district of the nation’s capital in its efforts to continue the sanitation of the city.
The Task Force, which consists of conventional security agencies, officials of the Department of Development Control, and the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) also impounded vehicles parked on walkways.
Coordinator of the FCT management joint task team and director of Development Control, Mukhtar Galadima, described the exercise as a continuation of the clean-up exercise of sanitation embarked upon by the present administration.
He said: “Just like you have seen in the last few days, the clearing of walkways in the city. We are trying to recover walkways where people have annexed them to other purposes, other than what they are meant for.”
“Most times, when people do not have where to walk, they resort to walking on the dual carriageway which can lead to accidents,” he said.
Deputy Director, Enforcement, Abuja Environmental Protection Board, Kaka Bello, while speaking on the penalty for defaults stated that the AEBP has different penalties for people selling on the walkways and drivers parking walkways.
He advised that, in order to sustain sanity in the city, all relevant agencies needed to sustain regular clean-up exercises; adding that such would prevent return of illegal activities where they are prohibited.
“Selling on undesignated places is illegal and whenever they are apprehended, they are charged to court and it all depends on what the court judgment is. At times, it carries a prison term, apart from fines, it depends on the Judge,” Bello noted.
“Some of the goods are confiscated in the process and it all depends on the court, whether to release such goods after a fine or not,” he said.
“Talking of sustainability, it is something we must continue to do daily. Some of the people who generate this waste are apprehended. Most of the markets have space for these people, but most of them have refused to use this space”, he added.
On his part, the Secretary, Command and Control, Peter Olumiji, explained that selling on walkways has security implications; saying that when traders are allowed to sell on the walkways, there will be increase in criminality because of the congestion of the walkways.