The Federal capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has demolished over 1000 makeshift houses built by hoodlums in Ruga around Kukwuaba District railway corridors in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) of the nation’s Capital City.
It was gathered that about 2,400 shanties would be demolished at the end of the exercise.
Speaking to newsmen immediately after the exercise, the Director , Department of Development Control Muktar Galadima said the exercise became necessary to curtail festering security threats around the territory.
He, however, noted that apart from security threats to Abuja, the shanties were becoming serious environmental hazard within the railway corridors and it must not be allowed to continue.
Galadima also vowed that the exercise would be sustained with weekly monitoring to ensure that the hoodlums do not reassemble.
According to him; ” The illegal squatters are notorious of defying the laws, and disregarding government orders.
” This is in continuation of implementation of the FCT mandate of the next level by ensuring that we checkmate the issue of security challenges as well as bringing orderliness and sanitation to the nation’s capital city environment.
” So far, we have cleared over three hundred shanties (temporary structures made of batchers and sacks. The work is ongoing, so we will continue till the end.
He continued; ” We had series of consultation with them, because in the spirit of the current administration, we don’t just move in, we are to do some engagement and consultation, so that the people would be fully be aware. And that’s what we have done with the community here.
“We are going to make some investigations, so as to know what is the land is meant for, is it allocated, but if it’s not allocated to anyone, what is the intention of the FCTA over this land, then we can tell the relevant authorities or department to take over and do what is necessary.
” We are going to sustain the effort, because we are not going to abandon the place, that’s why in the next two weeks we will come back, and if we discover that they are back to the place, we will come and do what is necessary”.
However , the Chairman, FCT Ministerial Taskforce on City Sanitation, Comrade Ikharo Attah said that the
place was growing too fast and had certainly became notorious for rape and other crimes.
Attah noted that about 2,400 shanties around the area would be removed and the sanitation would be sustained.
” From my own assessment, what will eventually go here will be about 2,400, because even as at today, the bulldozers are still working”.
Similarly, Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the FCT Minister, Ahmed Rashid said;
“This settlement based on security assessment, 90% of crimes been perpetrated in Wuye and Kukwuaba districts are from this shanty settlement. And based on intelligence and due diligence from all the security agencies, I think if we remove this kind of settlement everybody within this area, would go to sleep.
He added that, the exercise is part of the mandate of the Minister to clear up the railway corridors. Just few months ago, some people from this village attacked and broke four of the glasses (windows) of the train on test running.
Saying, It’s good for us (FCTA) to remove the shanties to make sure that the railway corridor is safe and people in Wuye and Kukwuaba Districts and the whole at large.
We made strategic planning with the Department of Development Control and security agencies, so that we will not allow this kind of settlement to come up within the Territory, he added.
He stated that, the Director, Development Control Department has set up a team to do a follow-up cleaning, which on a daily routine, in conjunction with security agencies, so that this kind of illegal settlement will not come up again. This is the best approach for security control of a city like Abuja.
Meanwhile , Secretary to the Chief of Ruga Community, Usman Abubakar said, they don’t have any right whatsoever to question the demolition of structures by the relevant authorities of government , because they are doing the right thing.
According to him, But the only issue is that we are pleading with the government to consider us as Nigeria citizens, as we have been living here for more than twenty-five years, so we are looking for any assistance from the government, in order to stop doing this kind of thing.
“We will be satisfied if government can give us a small land in this Abuja, so that we will occupy and settle down.
“Considering that our children especially youth and our women are living here, but now many of us have nowhere to go from here.
“We are pleading with the government to consider helping us, because the incident has affected at least five hundred households”, he said.