By Wisdom Acka
All illegal mechanics and others operating around the popular Apo mechanic village have given issued a 7-day ultimatum to vacate and make way for unhindered construction.
This is as the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) finalises arrangements to commence large scale city cleaning and clearing of the Apo road corridor, also known as the Outer Southern Expressway (OSEX).
Chairman of the newly constituted FCT Ministerial Task Force on City Sanitation, Ikharo Attah handed this ultimatum during stakeholders’ meeting with owners of businesses around the area yesterday.
According to him, the FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello was displeased with the continued defacing of the environment along that road corridor and ordered immediate and strict restoration of the area in line with the Abuja Master.
Attah further explained that the ultimatum was borne out of the administration’s empathy for the traders, give them time to remove their valuables and avoid immediate cleaning exercise that could cause colossal loss to them.
We gathered that the first phase of the sanitation exercise which will reclaim all the spots from Apo round-about to the popular junction known as NEPA junction would commence next Monday after expiration of the ultimatum. The second phase of the aggressive sanitation will begin from the NEPA junction to APO mechanic village, where illegal businesses have 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, Abuja Environmental Protection Board, Baba Shehu Lawan who organised the stakeholders’ meeting noted that the Minister had selected seasoned professionals who formed 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.
Below: Pictures from the stakeholders’ meeting yesterday. Speaking with a microphone is the taskforce chair., Comrade Ikharo Attah.