FCT Minister, Mohammad Bello, on Wednesday, ordered the indefinite closure of Dei – Dei International Market following a clash between commercial motorcyclists (Okada) and the traders.
Bello gave the order after inspecting the scene of the incident with FCT Commissioner of Police Sunday Babaji, Director of State Security Services, other sister security agencies and top officials of the FCT Administration.
Trouble started in the market when a female trader yet to be identified fell off a commercial motorcycle and was crushed to death by an articulated vehicle.
The minister directed the community and the market leaders to fish out the hoodlums responsible for the crisis.
”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 was no tribal or religious misunderstanding because all the leaders of various communities have lived in peace for many years.
”This is simply the matter of criminals and hoodlums taking the laws into their own hands,” he said.
The Vice Chairman, Timber Shed Market Dei-Dei, Ifeanyi Chibata 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.
He appealed to the minister to ensure the provision of a police division with adequate personnel in the market.
Meanwhile, the FCT Police have restored normalcy in Dei-dei town of Bwari Area Council, following the civil unrest in the area.