Residents of residential estates in Karsana District, Abuja, have been thrown into panic over the approval granted by the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, for the establishment and operation of motor parks within the area.
It was gathered that FCT Minister Nyesom Wike has okayed the construction and operation of the motor parks, following the recommendation of the FCT Transportation Secretariat.
The motor parks are to be managed by a private firm for an initial period of five years, according to details of the contract awarded by the FCT Transportation Secretariat.
The contract is subject to renewal after the initial five year period.
Reacting to the development, residents of Mab Global Estate and Queens Estate, two of the major communities in Karsana District, expresed concerns that the minister, who vowed to fight insecurity in the FCT, did not take their safety into consideration before approving the setting up of motor parks in the residential estates.
Speaking to newsmen on Monday, they expressed fears that the planned motor parks could attract kidnappers and other criminals to their homes.
A landlord, Mr James Adebayo, recalled how the wife of a permanent secretary was kidnapped in the area and a ransom of N100 million paid to kidnappers, in November 2023.
He noted that there are fears among residents that the motor park could attract all manner of criminals, further undermining the security of lives and property in the area.
He urged the minister to have a rethink and withdraw the approval granted for the operation of the motor parks.
However, some of the residents are, in the same vein, doubting the authenticity of the motor parks contract, as the approval letter is dated May 25, 2023, four days to the end of former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Parts of the letter, addressed to the private firm which is to operate the motor parks, read, “I am pleased to inform you that approval has been given to your company for the engagement as manager of temporary off-street parking at Karsana East by Mabglobal, Queens Estates, FCT, Abuja, for a period of five years.
“Your engagement as a manager for the period stated above is subject to renewal at the discretion of the Secretary, Transportation Secretariat.
“The structures to be erected at the park shall be as approved by the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA.
“This engagement is subject strictly to the attached conditions.”
However, it was gathered that, while the motor parks were approved towards the tail end of the previous administration, Wike adopted and okayed the take-off of the project, after he assumed office as FCT minister.
Adebayo said residents of the affected estates have resolved to take their complaints to the FCT minister in a bid to reverse the development.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that, in a bid to address the misgivings arising from the approval of the motor parks, the FCT Transportation Secretariat has summoned representatives of the estates to a meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, February 13, 2024.