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Abuja Gardens' Closing Time Sparked Protests From Business Owners

The implementation of Abuja Gardens' closing time sparked protests from business owners and operators.

The owners and operators of recreational facilities in Abuja have voiced their opposition to the execution of a regulation that imposes a closing time for gardens and parks located within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

They are also opposed to the enforcement of the restriction on the selling of alcoholic beverages in public gardens and parks.

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT)

Federal Capital Territory (FCT), also known as Abuja Federal Capital Territory is an administrative territory, central Nigeria, created in 1976.

The Federal Capital Territory logo
The Federal Capital Territory logo

The land can be found to the north of the point where the Niger and Benue rivers join together. It is surrounded by the states of Kaduna to the northeast, Nasarawa to the east and south, Niger to the west and northwest, and Kogi to the southwest.

Near the geographic center of the country may be found Abuja, the planned contemporary city that serves as the nation's capital.

The proclamation of decree number 6 of 1976 led to the establishment of the Federal Capital Territory, which is also referred to as the FCT. It came into existence because there was a need to locate a replacement for the capital city of Lagos, which had become crowded and had very limited room for expansion.

This prompted the need to find a new location for the capital. The region of Gwariland, which has strong numbers of both Muslims and Christians and a high degree of neutrality from the country's most prominent ethnic groupings, was selected to serve as the new capital of the country. It is the state in Nigeria with the fewest people living in it.

The federal government was granted rights over land within the territory under the terms of Decree 6 of 1976. Prior to the seizure by the government, there was a low population density.

There were 120,000 individuals who lived in 840 villages, and the most of them were of Gwari heritage. On the outskirts of the territory, settlements such as Suleja in the state of Niger and New Karshi in the state of Nasarawa were established as new homes for the displaced people.

The Implementation

The owners and operators of recreational facilities in Abuja have voiced their opposition to the execution of a regulation that establishes a closing time for gardens and parks located within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

See video report below.

They are also opposed to the enforcement of the restriction on the selling of alcoholic beverages in public gardens and parks.

The operators, who have been bemoaning the loss of revenues as a result of the execution of the policy, have demanded that the contentious policy be reversed.

In a letter addressed to Mohammed Bello, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, the operators reminded him that Nigeria is a democratic nation, and as such, such harsh regulations have no place in it.

They issued a charge to the minister, instructing him to respect the rule of law and cease the execution of the closing of parks and gardens in the FCT at 7:00 p.m.

The group referred to the implementation of the closure hour by FCTA as sub-Judicial in a letter that was submitted through their attorney, Ifeanyi Remy Agu, and captioned "Re Suit No: CV/408/2008: Barrister (Mrs.) Amanda Pam (Proprietor Suez Garden) & 60 Others."

The letter that was sent to the court stated:

As solicitors to the plaintiffs in the above-stated suit, pending before the FCT High Court, we draw your attention to the threat to enforce 6:00pm closing hour by the proprietor of gardens in the FCT by your Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring and Enforcement, Comrade Ikharo Attah, which action is sub-judice of the pending case before the court.

They also added:

Suffice it to say that we live in a democratic society where rule of law prevails against personal desires and brigandage of public servants. The terms of settlements in the above matter have been ordered to be filed by the Honorable court after the parties agreed in terms and principles.

Our clients received with the greatest shock the threatened enforcement by the SSA against the claimants. Sir, as a Minister in the temple of justice, we appeal to you to use your good office to call the SSA to order, more especially as the case is before a court of law and parties have agreed in principle

According to a recent source, the policy was implemented at Eden Garden in Jabi about 8:14 p.m. last Thursday and then transferred to the Par Excellence Waterfalls and Park, Unity Global Garden, and Grillz Hut Garden, all in Wuse Zone 5.

The Deli Restaurant and Garden in Wuse Zone 4 and City Park in Wuse II are two others.

When the enforcement task team came, most of the establishments were packed with nightlife aficionados and clients seated around their pleasure tables in various clusters.

Madam Winners Wokoma, who owns a sit-down restaurant in the Eden Garden, bemoaned that her losses as a result of the police are tragic and can result in death.

Also, Micheal Akogwu, a manager at Elite City Park, Wuse II, said he chose to close exactly at 7:00 p.m. in compliance with the directives to avoid trouble, while adding that the park's revenue losses were colossal, considering different segments that offer unique services with their appealing selling points.

Meanwhile, the Task Force's leader, Comrade Ikharo Attah, Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection, and Enforcement to the FCT Minister, said executing the policy was not designed to harm people's businesses, but to restore sanity to the parks and leisure sector.

Ikharo Attah in one conference
Ikharo Attah in one conference

He told the news:

We came out tonight for advocacy enforcement. We have gone around some gardens to ensure compliance to FCTA Park policy 2005 that states that parks should close by 7 pm, that is why we appear to be very soft.

Everyone is concerned about park operators, we want them to make money, but we still need orderliness. Parks are not lounges, nightclubs and hotels. They have specific guidelines on how they should operate. I think with time, everyone will begin to adjust.

In spite of the fact that the administration's well-meaning efforts to distribute parks and gardens have been exploited, he pleaded for understanding and compliance and expressed sadness for the situation.

People Also Ask

What Is Abuja Known For?

Abuja is well-known for being one of Africa's wealthiest and one of the few purpose-built capital towns. Abuja is the administrative and political capital of Nigeria. Because of Nigeria's geopolitical prominence in regional events, it is also an important capital on the African continent.

How Many Parks Are In Abuja?

There are 13 Parks in Abuja.

Is Abuja Safe For Tourists?

Abuja is one of the safest metropolitan cities in Nigeria. However, avoid unnecessary trips outside of this area. The degree of criminality is high, and there have been occurrences of violent crime, including assaults and armed attacks, against foreign people and in locations frequented by foreigners. After nightfall, avoid all needless trips.

Conclusion

Ikharo, however, gave assurance that the administration will continue to communicate with the owners and operators of parks in order to perfect the procedures and guarantee that they would be carried out without a hitch.

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