I was surprised because, I was not aware of any such directive” another resident, who simply gave his name as David, informed this reporter that “actually, I was aware that they will soon start the monthly environmental sanitation exercise, but I did not expect that it will be this soon. I escaped being arrested by the police task force because I returned home immediately I noticed an unusual light traffic on the road,” he said.
When Sunday Trust visited the Utako market, some traders were seen conducting their trading activities while the market was generally devoid of its usual boisterous activities. At the airport junction along Gwagwa Karmo road, mobile policemen and men of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) were seen trying to enforce compliance with the directive.
Investigation by this medium also showed that many commuters who had set out to start the day’s activities were stranded at the Jabi motor park and Berger roundabout respectively. However, in a chat with Sunday Trust, the director of Abuja Environmental Protection Board, AEPB, Dr. Abubakar Yabo, expressed shock that “in spite of the massive sensitisation campaign we embarked on, some residents can still complain that they were not aware. We made announcements over the radio and television; we adequately informed the populace, so they cannot say they were not informed. The exercise was a success; the minister was quite impressed with the level of compliance.
The minister personally went round to implement the programme. He went to Nyaya, Kubwa, Karu, and other parts of the city. He is, indeed, grateful to the police, security agencies and other stakeholders. We will ensure that this programme is sustained in order to keep FCT clean for the benefit of all.”
While commenting on the exercise, Sule Hazat, who is the chief press secretary to the FCT minister told Sunday Trust that the environmental sanitation exercise was 70 percent successful, adding that “since this is the first time such exercise will take place in the city, you can’t expect hundred percent compliance. There are bound to be people who will still disregard the directive but with subsequent ones, I think the public will more informed”
Speaking on the involvement of the six Area Councils of the FCT, the director maintained that the councils had been charged to carry out the exercise simultaneously in their various councils, stressing that the minister had already given a directive to the council chairmen on the need to maintain high level hygiene in their respective councils.
He also revealed that besides the monthly sanitation, the board would still carry on a routine sanitation in the city centre, stressing that the partnership with the private sector was working well for the present administration.
It could be recalled that the FCT minister, Senator Adamu Aliero, stated that the monthly sanitation exercise would last from 7 am-10 am on the last Saturday of every month, emphasising that it would be enforced to the letter in order to realise the desired result.
The minister reiterated that the movement of persons and vehicles would be restricted during the period, except those on essential services or with pass from the Abuja Environmental Protection Board.
He remarked that the residents of the Federal Capital Territory are expected to remain at home between these stipulated hours to clean their environment, especially the clearing of overgrown grasses within their premises.
The minister revealed that the FCT administration had already constituted sanitary mobile courts to try any individual or corporate organisation that violates the movement restriction order as well as any other environmental or sanitary laws of the Federal Capital Territory.
Aliero threatened that anybody, no matter his or her social standing in the society, that contravenes this order would face the full wrath of the law to serve as deterrent.
He solicited for the cooperation of the entire residents of the Federal Capita Territory; stressing that “cleanliness is next to godliness”.