Federal Capital Territory, FCT Minister, Mohammad Bello yesterday ordered the indefinite closure of Dei–Dei International Market.
This order was given when the Minister, FCT Commissioner of Police, Mr. Sunday Babaji, Director State Security Services and top officials of the FCT Administration visited the market for an on-the-ground-assessment.
Meanwhile the order is not unconnected to a clash that ensued between traders and commercial motorcyclists, otherwise known as Okada.
According to report, trouble started when a female trader yet to be identified fell off a commercial motorcycle and was crushed to death by an articulated vehicle.
The minister who was not happy with the situation said, “The community and market leaders must fish out hoodlums and bad eggs amongst them. Unfortunately, this time around, hoodlums carry arms and they shot innocent people.
“As a matter of fact, I saw four corpses, this is very sad and totally unequivocally unacceptable in Abuja. We have agreed with security agencies that full scale investigations will be done, and the communities have to be part and parcel of the solution or else there will be no peace,” he said.
Bello further said, “In the interim the timber market and the surrounding markets, including all the activities on road that have clustered the road and made it unpassable, will all stop until the technical team reviews everything, and then we will take the next decision.”
He however disclosed that there was no tribal or religious misunderstanding because all the leadership of various communities have lived in peace for many years. “This is simply the matter of criminals and hoodlums taking the laws into their hands.”
Responding, the Vice Chairman of Timber Shed Market Dei-Dei, Ifeanyi Chibata told the minister that 45 to 50 shops were burnt with 25 vehicles set ablaze. He however appealed for the provision of a police station with adequate personnel in the market.