he Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command has clarified that there is no violent clash currently happening along the Lugbe Airport Road, Abuja.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports the FCT Police Command made the clarification in a statement released by Josephine Adeh, FCT Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO).
Recall that a violent clash erupted in the Dei-Dei area of Abuja yesterday and was rumoured to have spread to the Lugbe area of the FCT.
TNG reports the rumour of the spillover unrest in Lugbe was fuelled using a video of some hoodlums attacking vehicles along a road, reportedly Lugbe Airport Road.
However, the police statement has it that Commissioner of Police, FCT Police Command, CP Babaji Sunday is currently on patrol with operatives around the Lugbe-Airport Road axis.
Abuja residents have, accordingly, been advised to go about their lawful duties as the police, according to the statement, are on their toes to ensure the safety of lives and property.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Commissioner of Police, FCT Police Command, CP Babaji Sunday, has been drawn to a video making the rounds on social media platforms about an incident which is being credited to have happened in Lugbe, FCT Abuja.
“The CP wishes to state categorically that there is no such incident in Lugbe as he is currently on patrol with operatives around the Lugbe-Airport Road axis.
“The CP urges all well-meaning members of the Abuja Community to go about their lawful duties as the police is on its toes to ensure the safety of their lives and property”.
FCT Police restore normalcy in Dei-Dei town after civil unrest
eanwhile, the FCT Police Command had said it swiftly arrested and restored normalcy in Dei-Dei town of Bwari Area Council on Wednesday following the civil unrest in the area.
This was made known in a statement, signed by the FCT PPRO, who stated that the situation was brought under control alongside its sister agencies, as it continued an eagle eye monitoring and surveillance amidst discrete investigation.
“This followed after the outbreak of a civil unrest at Building Material market , Dei-Dei area of the FCT at about 11:30 am today. A comprehensive deployment of tactical and intelligence assets of the Command was led by the Commissioner of Police, CP Babaji Sunday psc, who drifted swiftly to the scene to ensure that the unrest is being nipped in the board and managed.
”This was also to forestall the destruction of private and government infrastructure, loss of lives and property and to restore normalcy to the situation. Consequent upon the above, the Police in a concerted effort with other state apparatus upon arrival at the scene, managed the uproar preventing further disintegration of law and order.
”In addition to the above, Police monitoring and surveillance to ascertain the cause of the outbreak of violence, sustain the relative peace restored, and affirm the resultant level of damage is ongoing. Findings will be communicated in due time,” it stated.
The police further urged the public to shun participating in the promulgation of unverified news about the incident, saying it was capable of reigniting the extinguished flame of violence.
The statement also urged residents to desist from any form of violence and disobedience to law and order but to remain vigilant and report any suspicious or abnormal occurrence to the Police.
TNG reports that the popular building material market is situated along Kubwa-Zuba express way.
Earlier, an eyewitness, Mr Damian Akau, who is also a resident of the area told NAN that the unrest took place after a woman was allegedly killed in an accident.
”I was close to the market when I saw people running and screaming that a vehicle had hit a woman and she has died. The woman was said to have been on a bike. I don’t know how the accident happened but I saw some people holding down the commercial motorcyclist and maybe trying to beat him up.
“Before we knew what was happening, other commercial motorcyclists tried to rescue him from the mob and then a clash ensued.”
Akau said that property had been destroyed during the clash and an unverified number of persons died in the mahem. He said that shop owners were forced to close their shops and ran for safety first, while some shops were set on fire.
FCT minister orders indefinite closure of Dei-Dei market
owever, the FCT Minister Mohammad Bello has ordered the indefinite closure of Dei-Dei International Market following the clash that happened between commercial motorcyclists and traders.
Bello gave the order after inspecting the scene of the incident with FCT Commissioner of Police Sunday Babaji, Director State Security Services, other sister security agencies and top officials of the FCT Administration.
Trouble started in the market when a female trader yet to be identified fell off a commercial motorcycle and was crushed to death by an articulated vehicle.
The minister directed the community and the market leaders to fish out the hoodlums responsible for the crisis.
”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 untill the technical team reviews everything, and then we will take the next decision.”
Bello said that there was no tribal or religious misunderstanding because all the leadership of various communities have lived in peace for many years.
”This is simply the matter of criminals and hoodlums taking the laws into their hands.” he said.
The Vice Chairman, 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.
Also, the Secretary Tomato and Onion Sellers Association Dei-Dei, Dahiru Mani disclosed that four persons were killed during the clash in the market.
He appealed to the minister to ensure the provision of a police division with adequate personnel in the market.
Abuja market unrest: Fire service condemns attack on station
In a related development, the Federal Fire Service (FFS) has condemned the attack on Dei-Dei area fire station in Abuja by an angry mob, following the unrest at the building material market on Wednesday.
The FFS Public Relation’s Officer, Mr Paul Abraham said that the attack by the hoodlums led to the destruction of several parts of the station and the station’s firefighting trucks.
TNG reports that Dei-Dei International Building Material Market, experienced a civil unrest at the early hours of Wednesday which led to the destruction of property.
Abraham said that FFS Controller General, Abdulganiyu Jaji, had decried the attack emphasising that men of the service were determined to save lives and property.
“Firefighters have a statutory duty to protect lives and property even in the face of danger.
“It is on this note that it is unacceptable and inexcusable to attack gallant men who at the expense of their lives turned out to put under control the self induced fire.
“No Nigerian has the right to take laws into his or her hands talk more of vandalizing firefighting equipment, threatening firemen as well as tampering with private property,” he said.
The PRO said that the Dei-Dei command received a distressed call from the market association chairman regarding the arson ongoing in the market.
He explained that men of the service said that they would only turn out to the scene of fire if they were protected by security operatives who were yet to be on ground at that time.
He said that while the firemen were on standby waiting for the arrival of security operatives, a mob approached the fire station and began attacking firefighters who were ready to be deployed.
He said that the firemen eventually turned out to the chaotic scene to put the fire under control with the presence of security operatives.