Written by Austine ELEMUE

Hard time awaits those defacing Abuja –AMMC

The Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, AMMC, has warned that it will not fail to prosecute person, or groups who continue to deface structures in the Federal Capital City, FCC.

Speaking to journalists during a recent sensitization campaign, the Coordinator of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, AMMC, Umar Shuaibu, warned residents to immediately desist from indiscriminate pasting of posters on walls, bridges, road signs, sign boards, illegal advertisements and other public structures or face the music.

He said, “We are out here because of all those people who are defacing the city. We want to see that we clean everything. And also bring to book, all those who are involved in placing illegal advertisement on walls and other public facilities.

“Their activities have adversely affected the beauty of the city, so we want to ensure that we clean everywhere and also ensure that such practise does not reoccur in the future. The most important thing is that Abuja must be made clean.

“We will trace all the perpetrators of this crime all over the city. If you do not want us to come after you, quickly go to all those places you illegally placed your advertisements and wrote your numbers and either remove or clean them; else we will surely get you and punish you in line with prescribed laws. If you want people to come to your event, and know about your businesses, give them addresses through appropriate means".

Shuaibu, while assuring that the administration would continue to facilitate patrol of the city to ensure it remains untainted after the cleanup, regretted that indiscriminate pasting of posters have continued unabated because defaulters were not pushed accordingly.

“We want to punish defaulters to serve as a deterrent to others; because when people break the law and get away with it, it encourages others to do the same thing. They will be punished in line with the laws for defacing the city and causing nuisance," he further warned.

Speaking on property owners, the AMMC boss urged them to make sure that they took care of their surroundings, and not leave them for the government alone, saying "let them landscape their property if it is necessary or keep watch over them so that those people will not deface them anymore.”

A Deputy Director in the Department of Advertisements and Signage, DOAS, Mr. Richard Aderinwale, who was part of the team, advised residents to always do the right things while advertising in Abuja, urging them to always seek guidelines from DOAS.

Explaining the procedure for advert placement, Aderinwale said: “They should make applications for advertisement, upon which we in DOAS will visit; and either first, second or third party, the right things would be done and adverts erected aaccordingly.”

On his part, Director, Department of Development Control, Muktar Galadima, while speaking on need for the maintenance of the Abuja Master Plan, stated that his department is ensuring that every development secured approval to serves as endorsement or permission for such a development to take place.

Responding to a question on lack of motor parks in the city, Galadima disclosed that the Abuja Master Plan has provisions for all facilities, including motor parks, which are however yet to be developed.

According to him: “the Abuja Master Plan makes provision for all these facilities. When you go to the Central Area, we have the City Terminals. We also have them in the Sector Centres, like the Utako Park. The issue is non-development of motor parks. I know some time ago, the FCTA was working in partnership with some investors to develop the Utako Park.”

An Assistant Director in the Department of Parks and Recreation, Chinemelu Echee, who represented his director, advised residents to always plant trees and avoid cutting them down so as to check desertification and also prevent defacing of the city facilities.  

Explaining why the huge tourism and leisure potential of Abuja’s popular Jabi Lake has remained untapped, Echee disclosed that the Administration is working on development of the Lake, adding that its beach segment has been concessioned to a private company who has yet to commence work due to internal challenges.

He, however, expressed hope that the current coordinator would soon resolve the impasse and pave way for work to resume on development of the Lake for residents to visit and have fun.  

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