ABUJA – Apo Traders Association (ATAS), Abuja, has said they lost over N200m to the violence that erupted on Monday between the #EndSARS protesters and some miscreants, who went on a rampage, killing people and burning shops, houses and vehicles in the process.
BusinessDay on Tuesday reported that what initially looked like a peaceful protest by the #EndSARS protesters later degenerated into a clash between the protesters and hoodlums at the Apo Mechanic Village, Abuja leading to the death of six people.
Chiemezie Ife, the Chairman of ATAS lamented that the destruction they incurred from the rampage at one spot alone was over N200 million.
He said as peace-loving people, they were not part of the #EndSARS protest and wondered why they should come under such attack.
Ife, however, appealed to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bello Mohammed to make the Apo Mechanic Village more conducive for business, adding that they place had been in a bad shape.
The chairman stressed that they had been keeping vigil at their shops so as to prevent the situation from escalating further.
According to him, “We continue to appeal to the FCT Minister to make this place more conducive for us. If this place is well fenced, this would not have gotten to this extent.
“Since the incident happened, we have been sleeping here to protect our environment.
“We are peace-loving people. We are not part of #EndSARS protesters. Some of us have stayed in Abuja for 40 years now. If you look around, you see that what was destroyed here alone is worth over N200 million.”
While commiserating with the traders, the minister disclosed that a team had been set up to look into the matter with a view to replacing what had been damaged.
Mohammed said security personnel would henceforth secure the place and appealed to them to continue to live in peace and harmony.
“We are here to commiserate with you. Already, a team has been set up. Your members will be invited to be part of it so that we can know what was destroyed and how they can be replaced.
“Abuja is our city and we all came here to look for food, including yours sincerely the minister. So under no circumstances should we allow people from somewhere to come and disturb us because the moment you destroy anything, it would be difficult to replace it.
“So I am appealing to all of you to live in peace and harmony. I assure that security personnel will protect this place day and night,” the minister stated.
The minister also visited the Customary Court complex and the scene where three vehicles were burnt, including a Julius Berger truck both in Dutse.
Meanwhile, to forestall any further breakdown of law and order, police have mobilised to the Gudu Market close Apo Mechanic Village) following reports of the killing of an unnamed man in the market on Thursday.
It was gathered that the traders deserted the usually busy market located in the Gudu District of Abuja.