The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello, has confirmed that at least four people were killed in violence at the Dei-Dei market on Wednesday.
Mr Bello, on Wednesday, also ordered the indefinite closure of the Dei-Dei International Market following a clash between commercial motorcyclists and the traders.
Mr Bello gave the order after inspecting the scene of the incident alongside the FCT Commissioner of Police, Sunday Babaji, Director of State Security Services, other sister security agencies and top officials of the FCT Administration.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the violence spread at the market Wednesday following an accident in which a woman was killed.
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 carried 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 until the technical team reviews everything, and then we will take the next decision.”
Mr Bello said that there was no tribal or religious misunderstanding because all the leaders 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 worth a total of 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.
Meanwhile, the FCT police restored normalcy in Dei-dei town of Bwari Area Council, following civil unrest in the area.
This is contained in a statement signed by the FCT Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Josephine Adeh.
The police stated that the situation was brought under control alongside its sister agencies, as it continued 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 properties and to restore normalcy to the situation.”