Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, has revealed that the crisis that occurred at one of Abuja’s popular markets in Dei-Dei was not triggered by religion or ethnicity, but criminal elements.
Bello stated this on Wednesday when he visited the market to ascertain the cause and extent of the violence which claimed four live people and resulted in the razing of shops and vehicles within the market.
He said “After an emergency security meeting with the relevant security agencies including the Commissioner of Police and the Director of the DSS and senior management officials of the FCT, we decided to come here.
“And we came here specifically because on the social media, all kinds of stories are being circulated saying there is an inter-ethnic crisis in Abuja with one tribe fighting against the other. I have come here and met the leadership of the market; I have met the leadership of the communities and met the political leadership as represented by the Chairman and vice chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council, and what really came out very clearly was that this was an accident that occurred when a lady on a commercial motorcycle fell off and a vehicle ran over her and unfortunately, she passed on.
“As a result of this incident tension rose and hoodlums took over and like they do everywhere in the world, their target is economic assets and they burnt down a substantial part of the timber market and other markets around here and they burnt many vehicles.
“There was no communal clash here and I appeal to all residents of Abuja to continue to live here as we have always lived in peace as the centre of unity.”
The Minister tasked community leaders to fish out the bad eggs and help in bringing them to justice.