Officials of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration, at the weekend took its enforcement drive of the 7-pm closing time for Recreational Parks as stipulated by its the Park Policy to operators and fun seekers in Wuse and Maitama Districts of Abuja.
Our correspondent reports that the enforcement team drawn from Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), Departments of Parks&Recreation, Development Control amongst others, with the support of a joint team of armed policemen and other paramilitary personnel had at about 8 PM stormed and ordered immediate closure and vacation of Parks caught operating at the time.
Consequently, both fun seekers and providers in their hundreds were closed and vacated the scene, while some in small groups outside the premises of the parks, discussed the dislodgement, before retiring to their various homes across the city.
It was gathered that mostly affected were fun seekers, who had throned the SMINOFF Hang Outs at PAPIEE’S Meatro Recreation Park having assorted restaurant and Bar as well as lounge, within Lungi crescent, off Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja.
Explaining the exercise, Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Umar Shaibu, told newsmen, who monitored the operation that Park operators must ensure that they respect the city regulations and rights of other members of the nation’s capital city.
He decried a situation whereby park operators were operating their business, and getting money daily, at the expense of the peace and serenity of others within the neighbourhoods.
He also reiterated that the FCTA enforcers were going to comb every part of the city, to make sure that residents have peace of mind in the night.
“We are out to enforce our regulation of closing time of 7 PM, and to make sure that we give the neighbourhoods where Parks are situated peace to enjoy their rest every night.
“We don’t want to trample on peoples’ right, but you should know that your right ends when your neighbours right is infringed upon. So we must not be selfish.
“If any developer or park operator is proven to be recalcitrant, we have power to seal up and even revoke the plot.
“Whenever you are given allocation, there are laid down rules and regulations. But when you are not complying with the rules and regulations, we have the power to revoke the building approval and even the allocation”, the AMMC boss stressed.
On his part, Director, FCT Department Development Control, Murktar Galadima, noted that “whoever is trying to convert Parks into other uses, should know that we are sanitising the city, and we are restoring the Master plan and must get it right.
“For instance, one of the parks is supposed to be a neighbourhood park that children and youth can walk in, seat and relax as well as recreate.
“But, this land use has been fundamentally changed from children neighbourhood park to what could be qualified as brothel (strippers club). So, this is no longer a recreational park.
“So, we will follow the necessary due process and procedure to correct the abuse, which may culminate in revocation and demolition”.