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COVID-19: Abuja market demolished for disobeying lockdown order

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The Ikharo  Attah led Enforcement team of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has demolished a makeshift market in the Asokoro area of Abuja for disobeying the lockdown directive of the Federal Government.  

Traders were recalcitrant and insisted on assembling in the market barely 24 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari extended the initial 14-day lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States, for another 14 days.

Ikharo Attah told newsmen that the move became necessary to prevent community transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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“Considering the fact that the place was not just a market, but has been turned into an illegal home to many of the traders.

“The FCT administration with a deep sense of humanity had given the traders quit notice since January to vacate this place, but they refused to leave.

“At the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, it was discovered that many of the traders have converted the makeshift shops to living houses.

“Despite the lockdown, the places were becoming dangerously overcrowded,” he said.

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“We gave them quit notice long before the lockdown because it was defacing the place with all the horrible shanties you can see here.

“After about four adjustments of quit notices, we had to quickly come and clean up the place. What we are seeing here is making the lockdown enforcement very difficult.

“We are cleaning the place for their own safety, because this ought to be a road interchange, but they turned it to a horrible market.

“This place has become excessively crowded and is not safe for the people in the advent of this deadly Coronavirus pandemic. We had asked them to leave the place and go home, but they refused to go.

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“This place has also turned a very dangerous hid out for criminals and with the authority of FCTA we have to clean up the place to enable them go to their various home and be safe,” he said.

Attah noted that despite being overcrowded, the market serves as hideout for criminals. 

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