By Daniel Tyokua
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA ) has directed illegal mechanics operating in Apo to vacate the area within 7 days.
Ikharo Attah, chairman of the newly constituted FCT Ministerial Task Force on city sanitation, gave the order on Monday while addressing some groups of business owners affected by the decision.
At the meeting organised by the Abuja Environmental Protection Board ( AEPB), he stated that the seven days ultimatum was to demonstrate the administration’s empathy for, and ensure that actions capable of causing colossal damages were avoided.
He explained that the scheme would assist in bringing about aggressive city sanitation.
“Owners of mechanic workshops, automobile dealers and other occupants, who illegally carry out various trades along the Apo road corridor, also known as the Outer Southern Expressway ( OSEX) have been given a seven day ultimatum to vacate the areas” he said.
Attah said, FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello who expressed displeasure over the continued defacing of the environment along that road corridor, has ordered that the Area’s Master plan be restored immediately.
He noted that the Minister who recently paid an unscheduled visit to the site of various infrastructural projects along the road axis, was not pleased that some of the illegal occupants were obstructing the on going construction work, as well as defacing the environment.
According to Attah, the first phase of the sanitation exercise, billed to commence on Monday next week after the ultimatum, will reclaim all the spots from Apo round-about to the popular junction known as Apo NEPA junction.
The second phase of the aggressive sanitation will begin from the NEPA junction to APO mechanic village, where illegal businesses had taken over great portions of the road, making it difficult for contractors to complete their work.
Attah said, ” this stakeholders meeting was to enable us interface with stakeholders who engage in one form of business or the other along the Apo road corridors, also known as Outer Southern Express way ( OSEX).
” The Minister has given us a directive to reclaim all the road corridors, to allow contractors complete their jobs, and also allow the Abuja Environmental Protection Board officers beautify the place in accordance with Abuja master plan.
” We’ve given the affected people seven days ultimatum, because we want to put up a human face in carrying out the exercise. The Minister had wanted us to start immediately due to his desire to complete all the on going projects there as a legacy he would leave behind for the residents of the nation’s capital.
Also speaking, Director AEPB, Baba Shehu Lawan , noted that the Minister had selected seasoned professionals who form an effective squad for the exercise.
Lawan also warned that at the expiration of the ultimatum, the Task Force team would move to the area, and whoever refuses to vacate the place should not blame the administration.
He added that abandoned vehicles, furniture and every other things left on the road corridors will be removed and seized.