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Insecurity: FCTA clears Zone Four Shanties Around Bureau- De -Change Headquarters

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By Joyce Remi-Babayeju

In a bid to sanitize and beat insecurity, the Federal Capital Territory Administration’s City Sanitation team on Wednesday cleared shanties in Zone Four districts around the popular Bureau De Change, BDC, Headquarters in Abuja.

The Director, Department of Development Control, Muhktar Galadima, during the enforcement lamented the high level of criminal and unwholesome activities that takes place around the area by some unlicensed operators.

Galadima however urged the Bureau-De -Change Operators who are operating from the bush or yet to be licensed, to legally obtain their licenses for security reasons.

He noted that the enforcement is in line with the directive to sanitize the area of all illegalities to keep the environment safe, and by extension the territory.

Galadima said that although the site in question had been under litigation, the exercise has nothing to do with the price of the dollar, but that the safety and security of residents was paramount.

” It started for long time ago, between corporate entity and the government, including some companies claiming ownership of the land. It is still under litigation, but you see, security is paramount so also safety and cleanliness, so we have to look at these parameters very well, even though the site is under litigation, but we have to provide safety and security for Abuja residents.”

” The place is a sorry situation in terms of aesthetics, it is an eyesore to the city’s fabric, that is why we have to do everything possible to sanitize the place.It served as a hideout for criminals and miscreants, that is why we have to come and clear the whole place.”

“Bereau De Change operators are expected to operate from designated and licensed areas, they are not supposed to operate under trees in the bush, so that is why we have cleared the place.” Galadima explained.

The Secretary, Command and Control Center FCTA, Dr. Peter Olumuji said that the cleared spot had been harboring drug dealers, miscreants, and criminal elements that frequently attack innocent residents along Sheraton and National Mosque axis.

Some dangerous weapons such as jack knives, matches among other harmful tools were recovered during the exercise, he stated.

“The area is part of where there is security challenges, especially to residents in the city centre, when they transverse through the Abuja Continental Hotel (Sheraton hotel) through zone 4 going to the National Mosque.’

“You can see shanties which are not supposed to be in the city centre, harbouring criminal elements. They operate by disposing residents around the area and they come down to hibernate here. They attack residents and road users within the area.”

“We have recovered weapons from them which they use in attacking the residents and motorists around the place,we also have drug related issues and other incidences that occur here”, Olumiji said.

The Deputy Director Operations DRTS, Deborah Osho who spoke about the traffic implications of the exercise said the Joint task force has evacuated about 20 vehicles that were parked along the road side, that usually caused traffic jam in the area.

Osho said that the exercise is a continuous one to ensure that sanity is maintained in the area.

“This is not a car park, they should not used this place,environment or arena as car park, is not a place to park car and go for business, we will continue to raid this place.”

” There is going to be constant monitoring to ensure this place is free.You can see all we are doing here is to remove all this cars that are parked and abandoned here. People come here to park their vehicles and, they have gone.We have taken a lot of cars today, about 20 vehicles from this road stretch,” Osho explained.

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