It was a carnival-like massive celebration, Thursday, at the crowded Apo Traders/Mechanics Village, Abuja as the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed allocated 51 hectares of land to serve as their permanent site in Wasa District, Abuja.
The traders and mechanics, under their umbrella body, Apo Traders Association, sang and danced hilariously as the allocation certificate was presented by the Minister to their President-General, Chief Chimezie Ifeh at the well attended ceremony.
For nearly 30 years, the mechanics and traders, currently numbering thousands, have been squatting in different parts of the capital city. For that reason, they have been victims of demolition exercises by successive FCT administrations in the past. The ugly situation had seen them relocated over five times from one place to another without a permanent site given to them within the last three decades.
But succour has finally come to them as the FCT Minister presented the allocation certificate for the permanent to them at the gathering which was attended by over 5,000 members of the association.
The minister said he allocated the land to them following a directive to that effect by President Goodluck Jonathan. He highlighted the achievements of the Jonathan administration in various sectors spanning construction of roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects, aviation, education, agriculture, energy and power sectors.
While describing President Jonathan as a leader who has come to transform Nigeria, he urged them to continue to support him.
Senator Bala Mohammed stated that the resettlement of traders, mechanics and other artisans in FCT would not be restricted to Apo as others elsewhere in the territory such as Gwagwalada and along Kubwa Road would also be relocated to permanent and befitting sites.
Speaking earlier, the Eze Igbo of Apo Mechanic Village, Igwe Agujiegbe commended Senator Bala Mohammed for according the Apo traders and mechanics recognition. The Eze Igbo, who spoke through the Secretary of Apo Traders Association said the President and Minister had by their gesture empowered over 40,000 persons.
He pledged bloc votes for the President and the PDP in the presidential and National Assembly elections holding on Saturday.