Angry Members of the Apo Traders Association (ATASS) on Tuesday blocked the main entrance gate of the FCT Minister, demanding the release of the land lease agreement to their permanent site.
The protesters armed with various placards said the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) had granted them a lease on land proposed as a permanent site for the association in 2015, but up till now, the Minister has refused to sign and formally release the agreement.
The Chairman of the Association, Chief Chimezie Ifeh said the traders have spent more than N100m, as charges on various processes for the land, and held several meetings with relevant authorities, but no positive result has been achieved.
He alleged that trading by the road corridors, as allowed by FCTA, as a temporary measure has been very hazardous to members of the Association.
He called on the Minister to sign and release the agreement, before leaving office in a few days’ time, in order to save the traders from untold hardship.
He also vowed that the traders will continue to engage with relevant stakeholders and also protest when necessary until the administration fulfils its own bargain.
Also Speaking, Okhueleigbe Desmond, Secretary of the Association disclosed that many of their members have died from vehicle accidents on the ever-busy Apo road because they have no conducive place for their trades.
Desmond stated that the traders were tired of trading by the road corridors, and would want to relocate to their permanent site.
According to him, FCT Minister’s delay in signing and releasing the agreement was a big disservice to the traders and Nigerians.