FCTA to shut down illegal motor parks over one-chance menace

THE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has vowed to shut down illegal motor parks operating in the nation’s capital over the menace of ‘one-chance’ robbery.

The FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, disclosed this on Thursday, October 19, while speaking with journalists in his office in Abuja.

The minister blamed the increasing crime rate in the capital city on illegal motor parks and abandoned buildings used as hideouts by criminals.

He also noted that the FCTA had received numerous reports regarding kidnappings and ‘one-chance’ incidents recently.

Addressing the measures initiated by the FCTA to ensure the safety of lives and property in the capital city, Wike said a joint task force was formed last week to combat criminals operating as one-chance robbers.

“In most cases, we don’t even let the public know what has been done. I can tell you the security agencies have done quite a lot. If not, by now, the FCT would have been a different thing.

Wike noted that the FCTA “discovered that most of the areas that they (criminals) stay are shanties and uncompleted buildings, and that is why we say we cannot allow these uncompleted buildings where criminals have made their place of abode. Bring down all these uncompleted buildings which have turned to shanties, and they will have nowhere to hide.”

He explained that the government formed a joint task force last week to address the problem within the city.

“Just last week, we set up a task force on those states that we have borders with and one-chance. A joint security task force including the SSS, the police, the army, the navy. They have identified the way they will operate. To tell you that we are concerned, that is why we have to set up this joint task force for one-chance and border control.”

Meanwhile, the minister warned that all illegal motor parks would be closed.

The ICIR reports how ‘one chance’, a criminal group disguised as commercial drivers and commuters, dispossesses passengers of their belongings, including laptops, money, phones and other valuables. Many of them conduct their illicit business, using point-of-sale machines to empty victims’ bank accounts, using force.

Driving in cabs in groups of two, three or four, the criminals are usually armed with weapons such as guns, knives, hammers and other harmful objects.

In February, 2022,  The ICIR reported how the FCT’s failing transport system worsened residents’ security challenges.

The insufficient number of commercial vehicles in the city, despite the Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company Limited (AUMTCO), leaves passengers at the mercy of private car owners who convey them to their destination for a fee.

Fake transporters (one-chance drivers) take advantage of the situation and patrol the city, picking up unsuspecting passengers and dispossessing them of valuables.

Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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