Traders Protest Power Failure in Garki Market


Pandemonium broke out at Garki modern market at the heart of Abuja as traders protested the perennial power failure from the Abuja Electricity Power company (AEDC) who has failed to provide adequate electricity. The incident resulted in free for all fight at the tailoring section and the entire market when the traders sighted the AEDC officials. They threw caution to the wind, protesting the non-availability of power and refusing to pay their bill. A press statement jointly signed by the managing company of the market, Urban Shelter Company Limited, Senior Facility Manager, Abdulahi Idris and the General Manager, Hamisu Jumare, announced that in order to bring the situation to normalcy and to avoid further spread of the fight, the market was shut down forthwith. The statement reads in part: “The general public and all operators of Garki International Market are hereby informed that the market has been shut down following the breakdown of law and order on March 25, 2017 as perpetuated predominantly by tailors which preceded the disconnection of electricity from their blocks by staff of AEDC Garki Business Unit on March 24, 2017”. The statement however explained that the market management upon getting the report of the disconnection, approached the AEDC Garki Business Unit who refused to heed the advice of the management to connect the power and later agreed to come and meet with the management on Monday, March 27, 2017 on the matter and ways to collect their money from the shop operators who are owing. The market managers stressed that every means made to calm the protesting traders failed after the officials of the market management and Police personnel from Garki Division intervened for several hours but the tailors decided to take the law into their hands, insisting to shut off power in the entire market and were met by their fellow operators in the market asking them not to do such. The statement asserted that the situation continued in spite of all interventions by the Market Management, the Police and members of the Market Association and other relevant agencies. It also degenerated into violence resulting in fighting, vandalism of transformers, throwing of missiles and injury to security personnel and innocent bystanders. Pending full investigation, the company stated the market remains closed down. and as part of its effort not to create bad blood within the market environment and as part of the investigations, the police should extend the investigations to the Muslim faithful who were observing prayers and were also accused of appearing with missiles and weapons during the incident as such could have resulted into a deadly fracas capable of disuniting the entire FCT. In a phone call made across to the Police Public Relations Officer, The Abuja Times was reliably informed that the situation is already under control. Also speaking to affected traders, Mr. Uwakwe Mmadu, a dealer on mattresses, stated that closing the market by the managers has brought hardship to some of them who know nothing about the issues. “Now that the market is closed till further notice, we should all be at home. We just hope that the issues are settled and on time”.

Source: DailyTimes

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