By Ignatius Ushie

Infinity Tyres

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike yesterday, chided protesting Apo Mechanic traders who barricaded the entrance to the FCTA secretariat complex disrupting the free flow of traffic along the Kapital Street and environs of the secretariat.

In a statement made available to Transport Day in Abuja, the Minister while addressing the protesting traders at the entrance of the secretariat complex as his convoy stopped in the crowd, told them to do the right thing by following proper procedure to seek redress for any perceived grievance.

The Minister warned the protesters against resorting to such actions to resolve issues, adding that he will not be intimidated. He said it was wrong for the traders to barricade the entrance to his office and a major street in their attempt to draw attention to their complaints.

Wike however assured that he was ready to dialogue with them to solve their problem. According to him, “It is wrong to barricade the road without informing me of anything. You never wrote to me that you wanted to see me and I refused to see you. And then what you did is to wake up in the morning to barricade the road, barricade the gate, and then you said you are supporting me. I don’t need that support.

“And what I don’t like is intimidation. If you have a problem, channel your problem to me and if I don’t solve it, then you can take another step”.

Speaking to the leaders of the group, the Minister said: “What you should do, tell your people to go, then write to me that you want to see me, then we sit down and talk. But I will not talk to you based on these things you are doing here. I’m not one of those that anybody will come and intimidate. You should know me very well.

“What I don’t like is for anybody to say go there and barricade the place. I don’t like that. I see this as being sponsored, people coming to tarnish the image of the government.

“We can sit and dialogue. If the government has made a promise that they will give you land, I will look at the papers and I will ask questions, why was this land not given if it was approved”.

Speaking earlier, Chairman, Apo Traders Association, Mr. Chimezie Ife, commended the Minister for the pace of development in the FCT within the short time he assumed duty as Minister.

He appealed to the Minister however to look into their land lease agreement issue with the view to finding a lasting solution for all concerned as well as aid them to move to a permanent site.