Abuja market: Traders protest over leadership crisis

Some traders, on Thursday, staged a protest at the entrance of the Federal Capital Territory Administration office over the management crisis in the Abuja Market Management Limited.

The protesters asked the Permanent Secretary of the FCTA, Olusade Adesola, to intervene in the crisis regarding the management of the AMML since the sacking of the former Managing Director, Abubakar Faruk.

Faruk was allegedly suspended by the immediate past FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, but retained control of the office on the argument that his appointment letter was not tenured and he could therefore not be removed from office.

Consequently, on July 17, 2023, the commission also issued a letter of termination of the contract but noted that the termination would not affect his position as a director of the company.

The letter also directed Faruk to hand over all documents in his possession as the MD, to the company but Faruk, however, reportedly locked up the office and insisted that no one would occupy it.

The Secretary of the Wuse Market Traders Association and the FCT Amalgamated Market Traders, Abubakar Dangara, who spoke on behalf of the protesters, urged the PS to settle the leadership crisis in the AMML.

Dangara said, “We are representing people, and the people entrust whatever they are doing to us. We tell them to pay service charges, which are the dues that are paid in the market.

“And the dues, we’re supposed to know who is in charge, who is collecting it and who is responsible, if there’s any mix-up. They are the collectors of revenue of any kind from the traders to the FCT administration, so we need to know who is in charge.

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“We want the Perm Sec to settle the matter and give us the authentic MD who is in charge of the Abuja Market so that we can just go on from there.”

Similarly, the Chairman of the Arewa Traders Association, FCT Chapters, Alhaji Hassan Ibrahim, said the association wanted definite answers to the question of who was the MD of the AMML following Faruk’s termination of appointment after 13 years.

Ibrahim said, “That crisis, we don’t want it to come into our market because we are all loyal to anybody that comes. Who is the genuine MD? We don’t know for about two weeks now.

“So we need something authentic; we don’t want someone that will neglect us. Abubakar Faruk has been there for 13 years serving as Managing Director of the commission. We don’t want someone that would serve for that long without considering our interests and our position.”

Meanwhile, the Head of Internal Security of the FCTA, Sunday Olubiyi, who addressed the protesters, called for calm and urged them to channel their grievances appropriately.

“I can assure you that the Permanent Secretary is working round the clock to ensure that nothing untoward happens in the FCT markets; our Permanent Secretary being a very proactive person will work on your requests and make sure that nothing goes wrong,” Olubiyi said.

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