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Abuja Dei Dei riot: FCT minister says crisis not motivated by religion, ethnicity
The FCT Minister, Muhammad Musa Bello has said that the violence that engulfed the Dei Dei market in Abuja on Wednesday was not motivated by ethnicity or religion but rather, the action of criminal elements who started the violence to carry out criminal intentions.
According to a press release by the FCTA, the minister confirmed this when he visited the market in the evening to ascertain for himself the cause and the extent of the violence which claimed four lives and resulted in the razing of shops and vehicles within the market.
The minister also said that a full-scale investigation will be carried out by the security organization with the full collaboration of the affected communities.
What the minister is saying
The minister said his presence at the scene was prompted as a result of the different stories flying around social media about the crisis being an inter-ethnic crisis.
- He said, “We came here specifically because on the social media, all kinds of stories are being circulated saying that there is an inter-ethnic crisis in Abuja with one tribe fighting against the other. I have come here and met the leadership of the market. I have met with leadership of the community and met the political leadership as represented by the chairman and vice chairman of Abuja municipal area council. And what they really came out clearly to say was that this was an accident that occurred when a lady on a commercial motorcycle fell off and a vehicle ran over her and unfortunately, she passed on.
- “As a result of this incident, tension rose and hoodlum took over and like they do everywhere in the world, their target is economic asset and they burnt down a substantial part of the timber market and other markets around here and they burnt many vehicles.
- “There was no communal clash here and I appeal to all residents of Abuja to continue to live here as we have always lived in peace as the centre of unity.
- The minister also stated that a full-scale investigation will be carried out by the security organization with the full collaboration of the affected communities. He said, “This is simply a matter of criminal and hoodlum taking the law into their hands and I implore every community in the FCT to ensure that communities leaders identify miscreant, drug pushers, drug dens and the drinking joints where crime and criminality take place. The police and the military cannot be everywhere at the same time.”
The minister also pledged that the police post in the market will be upgraded and the FCT administration will provide the needed support while the police commissioner equally pledged more personnel.
He also ordered the immediate ban on all trading activities along the roadsides and directed that all transactions be carried out within the shops.
What you should know
- On Wednesday, the Dei Dei market in Abuja was razed following a violence that erupted after a woman fell from a commercial motorcycle (Okada) and was crushed to death by a truck.
- According to allegations on social media, the unrest was triggered by some group of commercial motorcyclists who retaliated by setting the affected motorcycle ablaze.
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Section 84(12): Supreme Court to hear Buhari’s suit against NASS on May 26
The Supreme Court has fixed May 26, to hear a suit filed by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, over Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act.
President Buhari and Malami had dragged the National Assembly to the Supreme Court over Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act.
They instituted the suit on April 29 seeking to void the provision of Section 84(12) of the electoral act 2022. The president and AGF are contending that Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022 is in conflict with provisions of the constitution.
Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act provides that, “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”
- The president and AGF are contending that Section 84(12) of the Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2022 is inconsistent with the provisions of sections 42, 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the constitution as well Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
- In a counter-affidavit filed by NASS, it argued that laws made by lawmakers while exercising their legislative powers cannot be amended by invoking the Supreme Court as the constitution empowers NASS to make laws in Nigeria.
- They, therefore, urged the apex court to strike out the suit instituted by President Buhari and AGF.
- The President and AGF sought among other reliefs, “A declaration that the joint and combined reading of Sections 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended); the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022, which also ignores Section 84(3) of the same Act, is an additional qualifying and/or disqualifying factors for the National Assembly, House of Assembly, Gubernatorial and Presidential elections as enshrined in the said constitution, hence unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void.”
- They argued that the 1999 constitution has provisions for qualification and disqualification for political offices.
What happened in court
At today’s hearing, the Rivers State Attorney-General and Rivers State Speaker sought to be joined as parties in the suit.
Lateef Fagbemi, counsel to the president and AGF agreed that Rivers State be joined as parties in the suit.
Justice Muhammad Dattijo granted the application that Rivers State be joined as interested parties in the suit.
He then adjourned the matter for May 26.
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