The Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) on Thursday Abuja began the demolition of shanties and other makeshift structures erected by traders at the Nyanya market.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a bulldozer and two trucks were on ground to evacuate debris from the market.
A combined team of enforcement officers, including armed policemen and AMAC Marshals, were also seen trying to protect the officials from being harassed.
NAN also reports that the market was crowded with traders who were trying to salvage some of their goods.
Also, security personnel in the market were seen trying to ensure peace and orderliness by warding off miscreants who might want to take undue advantage of the exercise to loot wares.
AMAC Chairman, Mr Abdullahi Candido, later told newsmen in his office that the council would sustain the demolition.
Candido said that residents of other states continued to constitute a nuisance to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) by displaying their goods on Federal Government road.
He described the situation in the Nyanya market as an eyesore, adding that the demolition was necessary to give FCT the much desired facelift.
The chairman advised Nigerians to cultivate the habit of doing the right thing at the right time so that the nation could move forward.
“What you see in the market is an eyesore; we want to bring into the consciousness of the people the need to do the right thing at the right time.
“ Citizens should not be compelled to do what is just and right. The situation in Nyanya market has been there for sometime and the people are not helping matters.
“As a government, we must not just watch situations like that. I think we cannot just watch them do what they are doing even when they are wrong.
“So, this government is proactive and we have decided to put a stop to whatever that is wrong.
“This will also let the people know that they should not wait until they are told to do the right thing.’’
Candido said that spaces and stores had been provided for traders within the market.
He decried the fact that most traders had turned the market into residential homes.
He observed that traders usually abandoned the shops allocated to them and preferred to use the access road to gain advantage of proximity to their customers.
“ The market and the market stores are provided for business to take place and I see no reason why market will be turned into residential homes.
“They leave the market space only to come to the road to cause gridlock, putting motorists and travellers in unnecessary pains.
“So, we felt that demolition is the best option that will give FCT a facelift.’’
He, said that the government was sensitive to the plight of traders in this period of recession but stressed that they must comply with every government directive as it concerned the use of the market.
In his reaction, Mr Ernest Nnamani, the Chairman, All Nyanya Market Traders Association, pledged sustained collaboration with the FCT Administration to ensure a healthy environment.
Nnamani said that the demolition was timely as it would enable the association to ascertain number of traders in the market.
He said that the traders were aware of the demolition as adequate announcement had been made for the evacuation of street traders in the market.
“We welcome the development. We have tried to do this on our own now but we could not.
“We are promising the authority that very soon, after this sanitization, we are going to ensure its sustainability.’’
He called on AMAC to ensure speedy completion of other parts of the market as this would fast track the movement of traders to the shops.