Wuse market in limbo, no thanks to trigger-happy security operative

The usually vibrant Wuse Market in the heart of Abuja now stands desolate and subdued following a tragic incident that unfolded earlier this week.

What was once a bustling hub of activity, filled with traders and customers, is presently a shadow of itself, no thanks to the indiscretion of law enforcers at the market.  The events of Tuesday, sparked by the death of 27-year-old Yahaya Ibrahim, a petty trader, has left ruins, destruction and an ugly scar on the market and its community. His original offence is being a petty trader who cannot afford to pay for a shop at the market. He paid the supreme price because he could not afford a fine and was foolish enough to attempt evading jail. In the aftermath of the tragedy, trading activities have been suspended.

A few offices were open   but there was no patronage when Credible News visited on Thursday afternoon. Law enforcement officers, their vehicles forming barricades at the main entrance, now control access to the area. Traders and reporters alike were prevented from entering, their movements restricted by the presence of authorities.


A trader, who chose to remain anonymous, desperate to provide for her family, laments the obstacles she faces in selling her products. With law enforcement officers actively chasing away traders, the hope of earning a livelihood dwindles. She, like many others, calls upon the government to intervene swiftly and restore normalcy to the market.

Wuse market in limbo, no thanks to trigger-happy security operative
Wuse market in limbo, no thanks to trigger-happy security operative

Even the Wet sector, bustling with sellers of perishable goods on Wednesday, fell victim to the heavy-handed tactics of law enforcement. Forced out of the market premises, these traders saw their businesses come to an abrupt halt, further exacerbating the economic strain on the community.


In the wake of these events, questions linger about the role of law enforcement and the circumstances surrounding the tragic shooting. While the Nigeria Correctional Service has defended its personnel’s actions, emphasizing adherence to the law, the repercussions of their intervention have been deeply felt by all.

Meanwhile, the posture of security agencies does not give hope for a quick resolution of the conflict. The Nigeria Correctional Service has attempted to exonerate its personnel, Usman Magaji who killed Yahaya and triggered the civil unrest and mob action at the market on Tuesday. The Police Public Relations Officer, FCT Command, Josephine Adeh, on Tuesday said late Yahaya was duly convicted by a Federal Capital Territory mobile court and was being taken to prison when he jumped off the vehicle and tried to escape before he was shot.


“Preliminary investigation revealed that one Ibrahim Yahaya ‘27 years’ was apprehended by operatives of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board Task Force and was taken before a mobile court which sits every Tuesday in Wuse Market, and he was convicted.


“Suspect alongside others were being conveyed to the prison, when he reportedly jumped from the vehicle and took to his heels in an attempt to escape. Two armed corrections personnel who were in the vehicle went after him and in the process, shot him. They said Ibrahim Yahaya was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors on the ground confirmed him dead,” she said.


Protester in annoyance attacked a police station and set some cars on fire at the market. The spokesperson NCoS FCT Command, Adamu Duza said the trigger-happy personnel acted within the precinct of the law to prevent the inmate from escaping. He used a life bullet on a runaway convict who has a right of appeal!

“The Nigerian Correctional Service wishes to condole with the family of the deceased inmate who was shot by an armed squad personnel on Tuesday, 12th March, 2024, at Wuse in Abuja, FCT.


“The incidence which led to pandemonium around Wuse in FCT is unfortunate and regretted. However, it is important to note that the personnel acted within the precinct of the law to prevent the inmate from escaping.

“Section 20 of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act 2019 empowers correctional officers to use firearm to disable an escaping inmate. It is unfortunate that in the process of disabling the said escapee, he lost his life,” Duza argued foolishly.


“The Nigerian Correctional Service is assuring the public of the safe and secure custody of all those legally interned as well as humane treatment of all inmates in its custody.


“The Service wishes to sympathize with all those who incurred losses as a result of the pandemonium that followed,” Duza said.



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