Traders in Suleja town in Suleja LGA of Niger State have decried the activities of thugs, as well as various task forces, operating within the popular IBB Market and on the roads.
The traders said the thugs and operatives of the task forces extorted them and the visitors to the market, thereby crippling business activities in the commercial town.
They alleged that the thugs comprising those working with the local council and illegal ones were forcing visitors to buy tickets and that if they failed they would damage their vehicles.
A trader, Salisu Abdullahi, said a number of traders and other residents from the neighbouring FCT, as well as some parts of Kogi, Nasarawa and Kaduna states, were no longer patronising them due to the various extortions by thugs and officials, mostly working under the Suleja council.
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Mr Paschal Okoli, the Chairman of Igbo Traders in the market, said customers were forced to register their private vehicles for conveying household items.
Mr Okoli said, “You can go round the market to see how the activities have made visitors desert here simply because they can no longer bear the exploitation.”
On his part, the Chairman of the Suleja Traders Association, Alhaji Yakubu Bagobiri, said some traders were now moving to markets in Mararaba in Nasarawa State due to the harassment, demanding the council’s authorities to deal with the issue before it became too late.
Contacted, the Director General (DG) of the Niger State Transport Management Agency (NISTMA), Muhammad Auwal Dattijo, declined to respond to the allegation.
Also, efforts to get the response of the Suleja council chairman, Malam Ishiyaku Bawa Naibi, were not successful as he was said not to be on seat when City & Crime visited his office on Wednesday and yesterday.