The Newly-appointed Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister, Nyesom Wike, has threatened to clamp down on petty traders within Abuja, accusing them of harbouring criminals.
ADULAWO NEWS reports that Wike, who admitted that things are hard in the country, declared war against petty traders in his first media briefing after being sworn in as FCT minister on Monday.
According to him, “We are not going to telerate the issue of everywhere is market. No, we cannot tolerate it. Yes, I know that things are difficult but that does not mean you cause crisis for other people. You looking for what to eat must be within the framework of the law. So you cannot say people are hungry everywhere must be a market, we cannot allow that,” Mr Wike said.
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Wike explained how petty traders contribute to insecurity in the FCT, Mr Wike claimed petty traders on the streets of Abuja serve as harbour for criminals and their informants, charging security agencies to map out strategies to flush out petty traders in Abuja.
“We cannot, in a city people are selling with umbrella under the trees. These things cause insecurity. How? You’ll see somebody under umbrella selling and you see a man coming as if he is trying to buy something not knowing he is an informant. He calls his people, she has just gone out now. We cannot allow it. Security people must map out strategies how we must move them out,” Mr Wike said.
Street hawking is prohibited by law in the FCT. The Abuja Environmental Protection Board, in collaboration with security agencies, often raid petty traders and hawkers on the streets of Abuja, confisticating their wares.
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However, petty traders faced with prevailing economic hardship in the land, turn to street hawking to eke out a living.