The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) said it has banned the activities of scavengers from Abuja city centre.
It said such persons, popularly as baban bola, have been restricted to the official dump sites in the city.
This was disclosed in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday evening and signed by the Special Assistant media to FCT minister, Abubakar Sani.
According to the statement, the Secretary, FCTA Social Development Secretariat, Ladi Hassan, said the action was necessitated by outcries from residents to the effect that many valuables have been lost to scavengers in the territory.
Mr Hassan said many public utilities have been targets for vandalism and robbery activities that carried the footprints of “Baban Bola” operatives.
Mr Hassan said the scavengers have been involved in many criminal activities from petty stealing to armed robbery, vandalism of public utilities and other forms of crime and criminality.
“Baba Bolas are to operate only at the Gousa, Karshi, Bwari, Gwagwalada, Kwali, Abaji and Kuje approved dumpsites as opposed to moving from one neighbourhood to another collecting waste objects across the city of Abuja,” he said.
“In furtherance of the commitment of the Administration to protect and secure lives and property of all residents of the Territory and in accordance with section 35 sub-section 1(i) of the AEPB Act of 1997, which prohibits the collection and disposal of refuse without authorization, the FCT Administration hereby bans scavengers a.k.a Baban Bola from collecting, disposing of refuse, trespassing on refuse bins or similar activities in any part of the Federal Capital City,” he said
The Secretary requested the security agencies to arrest and prosecute anyone found to be violating the directive and plying their trade outside the official dumpsites.
The statement also said the FCTA had given May 2018 deadline to the group to seize their indiscriminate activities in the territory after it held a meeting with the leadership of the Abuja chapter of Baban Bola and craftsmanship last April.