Angry members of the Apo Traders Association (ATASS), on Tuesday blocked the main entrance gate of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Minister’s office.
The demonstrators demand the immediate release of the land lease agreement for their proposed permanent site.
Brandishing a variety of placards, the protesters expressed their frustration with the FCT Administration (FCTA), accusing them of withholding the agreement that was initially granted in 2015.
According to the traders, despite fulfilling all requirements and spending over N100 million on various processes, the Minister has yet to sign and officially release the agreement.
Chief Chimezie Ifeh, Chairman of the Association, highlighted the dangers faced by traders operating along the road corridors, which were designated as a temporary solution by the FCTA.
Ifeh emphasised the urgent need for the Minister to sign and release the agreement before leaving office, as this delay would further exacerbate the hardships faced by the traders.
Promising to persist in their efforts, Ifeh stated that the traders would continue engaging with relevant stakeholders and resort to further protests until the FCT administration fulfils its obligations.
Secretary of the Association, Okhueleigbe Desmond, revealed the tragic consequences of the traders’ current situation, with several members losing their lives in accidents on the busy Apo road due to the lack of a suitable trading location.
Desmond stressed that the traders were weary of conducting their businesses along the road corridors and expressed their strong desire to relocate to the designated permanent site.