The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) led by Nyesom Wike on Monday carried out the demolition of the popular Kilishi market in Area 1, Abuja, leaving many traders in disarray.
Kilishi is a dried beef delicacy similar to jerky made from cow, sheep or goat meat in Nigeria.
The demolition came after a notice issued on Sunday by Muktar Galadima, the FCTA Director of Development Control, during a meeting with traders and owners of shops at the Area 1 shopping complex.
Galadima said that the meeting was to reach an understanding with the traders and owners of shops in the area before the demolition was carried out.
He said that the attachment shops, other illegal constructions, and parking lots have made the roads around the complex impassable.
However, a kilishi trader at the Area 1 shopping centre, Aminu Maradun, told The Whistler that the officials only told the traders that they needed to clean up the area and not demolish it. He said that he was shocked to see that the market was being demolished when he arrived there on Monday morning.
“I am surprised, I don’t know what is happening. They are demolishing the Kilishi market. They only came here yesterday and told us to shift our things because they wanted to do some work there, but they didn’t tell us they wanted to demolish the market. Only for them to come very early to demolish the place.
“Honestly, we never knew it was going to be demolition. I was called by my people who told me what was happening, by the time I got here around 8:30 a.m. they had already gone far.”
“The whole thing has disorganized us, especially me,” he added.
The demolition of the Kilishi market has affected many traders who depend on it for their livelihood.
Kilishi is a popular snack among Nigerians and tourists who visit Abuja. The market was also a source of revenue for the FCTA.
The demolition of the Kilishi market has sparked outrage among traders and residents of Abuja. Many people have questioned the timing of the demolition.
The FCTA has defended the demolition, saying that it was necessary to enforce the city’s master plan and to ensure the safety of residents. However, many people believe that the demolition was carried out without due regard for the plight of the traders who have lost their livelihoods.