One-chance: FCTA cracks down on illegal parking lots, cab drivers

THE Federal Capital Territory Administration’s (FCTA) Command and Control Center task team has cracked down on illegal taxi drivers and parks within the city in a bid to curb the one-chance robbery menace.

The team which is made up of the Nigerian Police, the Department of State Security (DSS), the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), the Immigration Service, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), the Correctional Service, the NDLEA and the Directorate of Road Traffic Service (DRTS), in conjunction with relevant agencies in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) removed unauthorised parking lots harbouring one-chance syndicates and beggars in the city on Wednesday, July 19.

The squad also seized vehicles from several locations in the city’s core centre, including Banex Junction and the Federal Secretariat.

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The team also dealt with various environmental issues in the Banex axis that were allegedly used in the past by alleged miscreants to target unwary pedestrians passing through the area late at night.

The Secretary, Command and Control Centre, FCTA, Peter Olumuji, who spoke during the operation, indicated that following receipt of reasonable intelligence from relevant security and paramilitary agencies, the team dislodged the activities of one-chance syndicates, who most times use unpainted taxies and illegal parks in locations that are not reserved for parking of vehicles in the city.

Olumuji said that the raid is part of its holistic operation to ensure that residents of Abuja can move freely at every point in time as well as curbing the menace of one chance and street begging.

“The enforcement team is all out to ensure that we raid any location that harbours indiscriminate parking, as we have been receiving reports about one-chance, and the security agencies with us have been giving us credible intelligence on this issue. That’s why we have to go round the city and dislodge these unapproved parking zones.

“And the aspect of the nuisance beggars do, they can also be used as a platform to gather information for criminal activities, and they are also public nuisance within the city centre.

“We had started this operation for the past few weeks now, and we are sustaining it, because from the feeders that we have been getting from the members of the public shows that they are appreciating the efforts of the FCT Administration in carrying out the operation, and we are not resting on it,” Olumuji said

Also speaking, the Deputy Director of Operations, DRTS, Deborah Osho, said that the team detained 15 vehicles from various sites throughout the city centre for various traffic rule infractions, including rickety vehicles that shouldn’t be on the road.

She pointed out that most unlawful parks provide substantial traffic impediments in the city since their operators block important thoroughfares, including pedestrian walkways, and force other drivers and road users to move slowly to pass.

“We were out yesterday (Tuesday) for sensitisation on the need for commercial drivers to take their vehicles to the available taxi parks within the city, but today (Wednesday), they are out on the corridors of the road forming illegal parks, thereby obstructing traffic.

“This is the reason that we are clamping down on them, in order for them to go into approved taxi ranks for their operations in the city so that our roads will be free,” Osho said.

The clampdown is coming a few weeks after The ICIR, in a report, looked at how residents of Abuja and Lagos have been entrapped in the cobwebs of the men of the underbelly popularly known as ‘one-chance’, a calibre of robbers who mask themselves as commercial motorists and passengers.



    The report details the experiences of commuters who were victims of the horrifying One-chance robbers in Abuja and Lagos.

    In a similar development, stakeholders who participated in a Twitter Space on Thursday, June 15, organised by The ICIR on the topic, ‘One chance – Abuja, hotbed for crimes on commuters’ were divided on the inadequacy of public transportation as one of the causes of the menace.

    Listen to the conversation HERE.

    The discussion centred on the inadequacy of commercial buses to cater for the needs of the rising number of residents in the FCT, leading many commuters to patronise private cabs, which sometimes might be one-chance drivers disguised as transporters.

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