Residents Protest Over Demolition of Market, Barricade Airport Road

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Residents of Gwoza village in Abuja on Monday barricaded Airport road in protest against the demolition of their market by the Federal Capital Development Authority ( FCDA) leaving thousands of motorists stranded.

The angry protesters were said to have besieged the dual carriage road chanting anti-government songs and hurling stones at vehicles on sight.

Many people were said to have sustained injuries just as many vehicles were also vandalized.

Sahara reporters gathered that protesters were later dispersed by the anti-riot policemen with teargas canisters.

This website, however, gathered that goods and properties worth millions of naira were destroyed as traders were not allowed to come close to their shops to salvage their goods during the demolition exercise.

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According to an eyewitness who also lost five shops in the demolition, Isa Abdullahi, the authority of the FCDA arrived the market with bulldozers in the company of armed mobile police and soldiers and pulled down shops at the market without giving traders previous notice.

The traders accused the authority of highhandedness and insensitivity adding that they were not given prior notice of the impending demolition.

The villagers set bonfires on the road forcing many vehicles to turn back, therefore, leading to a traffic gridlock.

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Dignitaries and government officials who are rushing to catch up with flights were not spared in the melee as many were caught up in the pandemonium.

Armed soldiers and policemen were seen trying to clear the wreckage of the tires and woods on the road after the protesters were dispersed.

It was gathered that the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Authority has sold the land where the market is located to a Chinese Company which about to start developing it.

Further findings revealed that the traders have been relocated to a new place called Gbesha which many of them rejected because it is very far from the demolished market.

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As at the time of filing these report security operatives are still keeping vigil at the village.

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