…Declare War Against Illegal Structures
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has warned residents of the nation’s capital to stop buying land from Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Abuja.
It would be recalled that thousands of persons displaced by Boko Haram from Boron state ten years ago settled with their families at the IDP camp in Area 1.
The Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to FCT Minister, Comrade Ikharo Attah made this known while speaking to newsmen after the removal of illegal structures behind the old Federal Secretariat at Area I in Abuja .
He said it was quite unfortunate that people were buying land from IDPs and building on swamps, water ways and on perimeter fence of old Federal Secretariat, saying, this is unacceptable.
Attah , however,lamented that it was quite painful that people paid as much as N100,000 to buy land in a place that is full of snakes and other reptiles.
His words, “We came back today to continue the clean up, because Distinguished Senator Ali Udume appealed to us to allow them to pack up their things. We all agreed that they should clear up the place.
“I can’t really estimate how many illegal structures were removed today but the work continues. Many of these structures have been here for many years.
“These structures are built within swamps and water ways and within fence.
“What is very painful is that you cannot come here, until at the peak of the dry season, even our machines here are sinking and despite the fact that there has not been rain in over four months so you can imagine if it were during raining season, that means once there is a single rain fall you cannot access this place.
“The fact that people pay from N30,000 to N100,000 to buy land here is very painful and it does not make it genuine, it is very wrong. The fact that you have been staying here for long and the swamp is giving you cover from the machine doesn’t make it right.
He , however, reiterated the commitment of FCT administration to prosecute those selling illegal lands in the Territory, “Minister of FCT Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, asked us to go and remove them, everyone is here to do his job.
“And those who are selling land we will definitely come after them and those who are buy from them, this is the pain you pay for buying illegal lands, those who are renting, I can tell you some people pay rent as much as N150,000 here and you can get a good house in Dutse Alhaji, Nyanya for that same amount”.
Speaking on sustainability he noted that, “As long as the machines work they won’t come back here. The machine must constantly work as a reminder to those commiting illegality, that they should stop. It like security if you remove them from the streets there will be anarchy. As long as we have law enforcement agencies , those who are commiting crime will do it hidden. As long as there is enforcement, illegality won’t be allowed to prevail”.
A resident Ifie Samuel who spoke to our correspondent said he has lived in the area for over six months, “I work in one of the plazas around here, one of my friends that have been living here for over 10 years brought me here.
According to him, “And I bought a land in 2019 but started building in 2020 and moved in 2021.
“I brought water into this community, I connected the water from water board and it is registered. I paid close to N600,000 to connect the water.
“When I bought the land they didn’t tell me the land was illegal, they told me it is an IDP camp. And there is no access road to this place, those selling the land said they are from Gosa.
“To be sincere I didn’t spend less than N1.2 million to build the house”.