20th March, 2018
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr Mohammed Bello, on Tuesday urged Bwari Area Council to come up with plans to revive its market structure, following the Dec.25 crisis.
The Minister, who was represented by Mr Adamu Bappa, Mandate Secretary, Area Council Service of the FCT Administration, gave the advice at a security meeting at the Council Secretariat in Abuja.
The town was on Christmas day hijacked by suspected cult members who burnt down shops in the market and also barricaded roads.
According to Bello, it is necessary for the council, Chairman, Mr Musa Dikko, to stratgise and address plan to remodel and restructure the market.
This, he noted, must include how the council intends to carry along the traders its development, after the FCT Administration must have provided the traders with assistance, following their loss.
“The Chairman must tell me his plans for the traders now, and maybe, in the future because I am meant to understand that there was a temporary measure for them; what is the position now.
“Then, what would the traders have after they must have given way and supported the remodelling and building of the market.
“We also agree that the temporary site they are relocating to must have security for both lives and property, so council must make out plans to secure both traders and those who come to buy.
“Another issue is, if relocating the market, are the traders going to be given a form of discount; all these must be put in writing and tabled before me before the end of the week,” he said.
Bappah, however, said that he would relate to the Minister the plight of the traders, saying that very little could be done to compensate the traders from their huge loss.
He also harped on the need for a peaceful coexistence among the residents of the town, while urging the leaders of the community, especially the two emirs to lead by example.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Council, Mr Musa Dikko appealed to the FCT administration to come to the aid of the traders in order to restore them to their source of livelihood.
According to him, the assistance in however form it may come, would be generously appreciated by both the council and the people.
He gave the assurance that the council would do everything within its power to forestall any form evil lurking in corners to destroy the peace of the town.
Dikko also noted that the council alongside the security agents in the council area is working tirelessly to bring justice upon the perpetrators of the December crisis.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Bwari Market Traders, Alhaji Shehu Mohammed, urged that the FCT Administration comes to assist the market traders.
According to him, it has not been easy for the traders to adapt to changes from the unfortunate incident and many of them have been finding it difficult to adjust.
He commended all efforts by the security agents, the council and all stakeholders towards ensuring that peace is restored to the town.
Mrs Bilkisu Abdullahi, a representative of the Department of State Security (DSS), noted that in spite of calls for peaceful coexistence, obviously, both traditional rulers in the town do not relate cordially.
Abdullahi urged the Minister to call both the Sarkin Bwari and the Etsu Bwari to order and make peace between the two leaders, saying it is necessary for both leaders to lead by good example in term of forgiveness.
In his response, the Sarkin Bwari, Alhaji Awwal Ijakoro said that he has no grudge against his colleague, saying that the efforts of their forefathers to bring the town to where it is, would not be in vain.
Ijakoro while also harping on the need for a peaceful co-existence, advised that the people must live above confusion and embrace each other.
He said that he would do everything necessary to give all and sundry their desired respects.
Also speaking, the Etsu Bwari, Mr Ibrahim Yaro, assured that the peace that had returned to the town would be maintained while also calling on the Minister to assist the traders who are still bitter and in pains from their misfortune.
The meeting had in attendance traditional heads, members of the Council, security agents, members of the Bwari market Association, religious leaders and the youths.