Following a conflict between commercial motorcyclists (Okada) and traders, FCT Minister Mohammad Bello ordered the indefinite closure of Dei – Dei International Market on Wednesday.
After examining the incident scene with FCT Commissioner of Police Sunday Babaji, Director of State Security Services, other sister security agencies, and top FCT Administration officials, Bello issued the order.
Trouble began at the market when an unidentified female merchant fell off a commercial motorbike and was killed by an articulated truck.
The minister ordered the community and market leaders to find the hoodlums who had caused the catastrophe.
”The community and market leaders must fish out hoodlums and bad eggs among them, unfortunately, this time around, hoodlums carry arms and they shoot 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.
”In the interim, the timber market and the surrounding markets, including all the activities 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.”
Bello said that there were no ethnic or religious differences because all of the leaders of the various tribes had lived in harmony for many years.
“This is just a case of crooks and hoodlums enforcing their own rules,” he explained.
Ifeanyi Chibata, Vice Chairman, Timber Shed Market Dei-Dei, told the minister and his team that 45 to 50 stores were burned, along with 25 cars worth over one billion naira.
Dahiru Mani, the Secretary of the Dei-Dei Tomato and Onion Sellers Association, also said that four people were murdered in the market brawl.
He urged the minister to guarantee that the market had a police division with sufficient employees.
Meanwhile, the FCT Police have restored normalcy in Dei-dei town of Bwari Area Council, following the civil unrest in the area.
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