Mohammed Bello, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has confirmed the death of four persons after violence broke out at the Dei-Dei Market in Abuja on Wednesday.
Bello, while speaking with reporters on Wednesday, ordered the market’s indefinite closure after a clash ensued between the traders and motorcycle riders (okada) who operate within the market.
The order for the indefinite closure came after the FCT boss inspected the scene of the incident alongside other government officials who concluded that a shutdown would be necessary to forestall more violence, Premium Times reported.
“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,” Bello said.
“As a matter of fact, I saw four corpses. This is very sad, and totally and 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.”
At the scene of the violence, the minister asked leaders within the community to ensure that the miscreants responsible for the violence are punished accordingly.
The minister further refuted assertions that the violence might have been triggered by tribal or religious differences.
He maintained that members of the community have lived in peaceful co-existence for many years.
The incident reportedly happened when an unidentified woman was run over by a car after falling off a motorcycle.
An angry mob charged into the market and began wrecking havoc afterwards.
Be the first to receive special investigative reports and features in your inbox.