The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has issued a sweeping ban on street trading activities in Abuja. This directive, delivered during an address to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) on Wednesday, has generated widespread discussion and debate.
Nyesom Wike, renowned for his previous tenure as the governor of Rivers State, made a compelling case for the ban. He contended that street traders, particularly those selling corn and engaging in street hawking, inadvertently contributed to the growing insecurity in the capital. According to him, criminals, under the guise of purchasing corn, exploited these situations to gather intelligence and facilitate illegal activities.
Wike’s stern stance on this issue was clear as he emphasized, “Street trading is prohibited. People selling corn will drop their waste indiscriminately, and these are the things that cause insecurity. Criminals come to buy and use the opportunity to spy and give information to criminals. It is imperative we clear street hawkers.”
He went on to address other pressing concerns affecting Abuja’s well-being, including the inadequate lighting in several areas of the city. Wike stressed the importance of restoring proper illumination swiftly, highlighting the need to address issues of sanitation, particularly the proliferation of motor parks. He cautioned officials responsible for these areas, stating, “If you cannot meet up my standard, say it now so that we can change you.”
Wike expressed his dissatisfaction with the rampant presence of illegal structures and shanties throughout the city. He underscored his commitment to order and legality, asserting, “Development control is a serious crisis area; we have to stop. Why are there illegal structures and shanties everywhere? We will demolish any illegal structures. No matter how highly placed, the structure will come down.”