Protesting Traders Block Abuja Airport Road

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Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

Residents and traders of Gosa in Abuja Municipal Area Council on Monday blocked the Musa Yar’Adua Express Way known as the Abuja Airport Road.

The aggrieved villagers, mainly youths and women, who blocked the road with burning tyres, were demonstrating against the demolition of the illegal market built along the road.

The lock down caused heavy traffic on the Airport Road and disrupted the flight arrangement of many travellers.
Demolition of Gosa Local Market, which commenced on Saturday, almost resulted to breach of security in continuation yesterday in the area as traders and villagers attacked officials of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) and the security agencies, by pelting them with stones and other sharp objects.

Even after they were overpowered by security agencies, the traders and villagers, blocked the road with burning tyres, in the process caused a traffic gridlock.

While asking FCT Administration to relocate them, some of the traders said their goods worth millions of naira had been destroyed with no prior notice given to them before the demolition.

Reacting to the development, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, described the incident as unfortunate and unacceptable.

Bello who addressed reporters yesterday evening, said the action became necessary because of the real danger that illegal trading on the buffers and shoulders of the road portended to lives and property on the axis.

According to him, the open market had expanded up to the point had become a serious real danger to the residents and other road users, therefore the need for the government to curtail the menace.

He disclosed that government would immediately relocate the market inside Gosa, at least 500 meters away from the road corridors, in accordance with the law.
Trouble started as the city management agency arrived the area, in the afternoon, to completely clear the entire market, adjudged to be illegal structures under the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).