The joint task force on city sanitation of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has dislodged artisans and traders operating illegally under high tension wires in Katampe Extension, Abuja.
The task force also displaced suspected criminal elements, who erected illegal structures in reserved green zones, including the FCT Water Supply Facility, serving as safe haven for criminals in the area.
Mukhtar Galadima, director, development control, FCTA, who led the exercise in Abuja on Monday, expressed concern over the invasion of the area by the artisans and traders, including criminals.
Mr Galadima, who was represented by the deputy director, monitoring and enforcement, Hassan Ogbole, said it was dangerous for anyone to build a house or operate any kind of business under high tension wire.
Describing the development as “fatal”, the director disclosed that the exercise was the fourth attempt to clear the area but the culprits returned whenever they were cleared.
“We have done this in several locations, and we are here again in Katampe Extension where the culprit returns to the area after we send them packing.
“We will keep doing this until we finally get rid of them for good.
“We are working in partnership with the Residents’ Association of Katampe Extension and FCT Parks and Recreation Department, to ensure proper utilisation of green areas to prevent illegal traders and criminals from occupying the areas,” he said.
In his remarks, Isa Abdulmalik, assistant director, maintenance, parks, and recreation department, said that plans have been concluded to establish a neighbourhood park for recreational activities.
Mr Abdulmalik added that similar areas have been recovered and transformed into parks.
He identified some of the areas as Kabusa, Gaduwa, Guzape, and Apo Dutse among others, adding that the initiative had helped in curbing illegal activities and occupation of open spaces by hoodlums.
On his part, Peter Olumuji, Secretary, FCTA Command and Control Centre, said that the action became necessary following complaints by residents of the areas about the activities of hoodlums.
“We have seen incidents of people coming here to sell drugs and commit all kinds of social vices.
“The clearance operation is to sanitise the area and ensure the security and safety of residents,” Mr Olumuji said.