Reprieve may be coming the way of traders and shop owners at the once boisterous and notorious illicit drug joints at Abia, Abuja, Adamawa and Anambra lanes, at the Giginya Barracks Mammy Market in Sokoto state.
It would be recalled that most shops on the four lanes have been under lock and keys in the last four months, in full compliance to the Nigeria Army authority, banning sales and consumption of illicit drugs and substances at the market.
The order followed a two-part report by icirnigeria.org on how the abuse of drugs and other substances thrives at various army barracks in Northern Nigeria with emphasis on the mammy market in the army barracks, Sokoto.
Feelers however indicated that the lock-up shops will soon open for business, but not to illicit drugs and banned substances’ peddlers and consumers.
Mahmoud Ibrahim, an Army Major and Chairman of the market, responding to a telephone inquiry by our correspondent, confirmed that the shops where sale of banned and illicit drugs take place within the market had been under lock, after soldiers supervised evacuation of the drugs.
Corroborating the long closure of the shops and it’s attendant economic implications on the owners, Ibrahim disclosed that, “all the traders/shop owners need to do, is to apply for change of business, now that there is full compliance to the Nigeria Army directives.
“From a vantage point of view, shops in Abia, Abuja, Adamawa and Anambra lanes, hitherto closed down for selling banned substances, will soon reopen for businesses, as there are several applications under consideration, before the Brigade Commander,” Ibrahim hinted.
Since the Nigeria Army read the riot act, the once bubbling section of the mammy market, has since become a ghost of itself, with soldiers stationed at strategic points.
Prior to the Army authority directives, the Giginya Barracks mammy market was a safe haven for peddlers and consumers of illicit drugs and substances, as it was a no-go area for operatives of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA.
Also, the news of the ban was received with jubilation across the state and it has drastically reduced the influx of people to the mammy market. The human and vehicular long queue at the market entrance gate has also disappeared.