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Minister orders indefinite closure of Abuja international market over crisis

Mohammad Bello, Honourable Minister for FCT

*A deadly clash between Okada riders reportedly recorded 45 to 50 shops burnt with 25 vehicles destroyed, totalling over a billion Naira

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Following a clash between the commercial motorcyclists and traders in the facility, Mohammad Bello, Honourable Minister for Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has ordered indefinite closure of Dei-Dei International Market.

ConsumerConnect reports the Minister gave the directive after inspecting the scene of the incident in company with FCT Commissioner of Police, Sunday Babaji, Director State Security Services, other sister security agencies and top officials of the FCT Administration.

Recall were reports of a deadly clash between the traders and commercial motorcyclists on Wednesday.

Sources disclosed trouble started in the international market when an unidentified female trader fell off a moving commercial motorcycle and was crushed to death by an articulated vehicle in the process.

Bello also directed the community and the market leaders to fish out the hoodlums responsible for the crisis.

The FCT Minister stated: “The community and market leaders must fish out hoodlums and bad eggs among 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.”

He further noted: “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.

“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 untill the technical team reviews everything, and then we will take the next decision.”

Bello, however, clarified that there was no tribal or religious misunderstanding, because all the leadership of various communities have lived in peace for many years.

Bello said: “This is simply the matter of criminals and hoodlums taking the laws into their hands.”

Ifeanyi Chibata, Vice-Chairman, Timber Shed Market Dei-Dei, told the Minister and his team that 45 to 50 shops were burnt with 25 vehicles set ablaze, which total over one billion Naira.

Also, the Secretary, Tomato and Onion Sellers Association Dei-Dei, Dahiru Mani, disclosed that four persons were killed during the clash in the market.

Mani appealed to the FCT Minister to ensure the provision of a Police division with adequate personnel in the market towards restoring enduring peace.

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