Following a conflict between commercial motorcyclists and traders that claimed five lives on Wednesday, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Mohammad Musa Bello, has ordered the indefinite closure of the Dei-Dei International Market.
After examining the scene of the event with FCT Commissioner of Police, CP Sunday Babaji, Director of State Security Services alongside other sister security agencies, and top officials from the FCT Administration, he ordered an immediate closure.
Daily Independent learned that trouble began in the market when an unidentified female trader fell off a commercial motorcycle and was killed by an articulated vehicle.
Bello ordered the community and market leaders to find the hoodlums who were guilty of the crisis.
According to him: “The community and market leaders must fish out hoodlums and bad eggs among them, unfortunately, this time around hoodlums carry arms and they shot innocent people. As a matter of fact, I saw four corpses this is very sad and totally unequivocally unacceptable in Abuja.
“We have agreed with security agencies that full-scale investigations will be done, and the communities have to be part and parcel of the solution or else there will be no peace. In the interim the timber market and the surrounding markets, including all the activities on-road that have clustered the road and made it unpassable will all stop until the technical team reviews everything, and then we will take the next decision.
“I am appealing to other communities within the FCT that there is no tribal or religious misunderstanding because all the leaders of various communities have lived here in peace for many years. This is simply the matter of criminals and hoodlums taking the laws into their hands” he said.
On his part, the Vice Chairman of Timber Shed market Dei-Dei, Ifeanyi Chibata told the minister and his team that
45 to 50 shops were burnt with 25 vehicles set ablaze which total over one billion Naira.
Meanwhile, the secretary of Tomato and Onion Sellers Association Dei-Dei, Dahiru Garba Mani disclosed that four persons were killed during the clash in the market.
They both appealed to the minister of FCT to make provision for a police division with adequate personnel.