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FCT minister insists on dislodging Apo-Dutse pantaker over insecurity



Federal Capital Territory Minister

The Federal Capital Territory Minister, Muhammad Bello, says there is no going back on the planned removal of Apo-Dutse Pantaker, famed to be one of the biggest Scrap markets in the country.

Mr Bello made the statement on Friday at an interactive meeting with stakeholders of the pantaker market, at the FCT Administration secretariat, in Abuja.

Represented by Ikharo Attah, his Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, the minister stated that he had issued a marching order to the effect.

He noted that the operators of the pantaker market admitted that the place was riddled with several challenges, but pleaded for enough time to enable them to remove all their property.

He said the administration had decided to extend the ultimatum earlier issued to the marketers by one week due to the Ramadan.

“The FCT Administration has given a marching order to clear the place, because criminals are largely hibernating there, even the people have admitted that the criminals have stolen some electrical installations there.

“We have warned and given them an ultimatum before, but they pleaded that their pantaker is not like the other ones, but the biggest in the country.

“They said that parking their things will take almost one month. We reviewed it because of Ramadan and agreed one week after the Sallah to vacate the place,” he added.

Responding, one of the leaders, Ambusa Umar, said the operators had consented to the decision of the administration, but pleaded for two weeks, instead of one.

Mr Umar noted that the operators were law-abiding citizens, working to eke out a living and also contributed to the country’s economic growth.

He equally acknowledged that the place had security challenges, but urged the administration to consider their request.