After Losing 43 Cars, Victims Of Apo Mechanic Arson Wait For Compensation


Nearly one month after, Used-car dealers still hang around at  the Apo Mechanic Village in Abuja where 43 cars put up for sale were either burnt or vandalized beyond repair by hoodlums during the EndSARS protest.

They are still waiting anxiously for the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, to fulfill his promise to compensate them for the tragic loss.

THE WHISTLER had reported on October 19 that hoodlums who attacked the mechanic village, located at Kabusa Junction, and set ablaze vehicles on sale during the recent EndSARS protest in Abuja.

The Minister of the FCT, Muhammad Bello and the Minister of State, Ramatu Tijani, subsequently visited the victims at mechanic village and made promises for compensation.

But nearly one month after, the victims are yet to hear from the minister while they continue to languish in” debt and hunger.”

Speaking to THE WHISTLER, the chairman of the Apo mechanic village, Abdulfaitai Afolabi, said: “The Minister came on October 22 to see the place for herself with her entourage and said they were going to set up committee to oversee, ascertain the level of the damages and make a recommendation for compensation.

“But since then we have been waiting because this is our only means of livelihood, we have nothing else and it is given us serious concern.   We borrowed money to start the business, and most of the cars that are here were covered by agreements that we will sell and the owners will collect their money.

“18 vehicles were burnt and 25 vandalized, and most of them beyond repair. Why you don’t see them here is because they have started looting several things. Even the burnt ones looters took four away, you can see the traces there.”

But Afolabi said he was hopeful the FCT minister would come to their rescue because” the minister is a man of his words.” He however said the minister should act with haste to save them from their current anguish. 

“I know that government process is not like we want it but if the process continues like this, how do we eat when we have a lot of dependents? Even their lives are in jeopardy because definitely when you cannot make ends meet, you are totally in trouble,” he said, adding that they just started recovering from Covid-19 lockdown when the incident happened.

Beyond the promises to compensate victims, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) last  Friday inaugurated an 18-member ministerial committee to “assess the extent of the losses and damages occasioned by the EndSARS protest in the Territory”.

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