Traders subdue Environmental Board officers in raid on popular Wuse market.
Some roadside traders at the ever-bustling Wuse Market forcefully resisted arrest by the officers of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board, AEPB, on Thursday.
It was a charged atmosphere around 5:30p.m. as the traders hurled sticks and stones at the AEPB agents. Passers-by ran helter-skelter while car owners put to test their maneuvering skills as anxiety sparked towards the end of the day in front of the Wuse Market, beside Zenith bank.
The AEPB officers came in a convoy of about five Toyota Hiace buses with not less than two soldiers in each one. They appeared to be on a mission to arrest traders who displayed wares on both sides of the road just outside the main market – an offence that breaches environmental and traffic laws.
The team was met with stiff resistance as they tried to seize the defiant traders’ goods. On sensing trouble, the AEPB agents beat a quick retreat as the traders – in their hundreds – seemed battle-ready to prevent the raid from their unwanted guests. The roadside traders’ activities, coupled with residents trying to board public buses by the road, make the spot and adjoining roads hell for its users.
AEPB is the regulatory body statutorily charged with the responsibility of protecting and managing the Federal Capital Territory environment. It was established under the AEPB Act No. 10 of 1997.