By: Wisdom Acka
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Tuesday, removed more than 700 illegal structures on waterways in Kado Raya, Gwarimpa I District (Life-Camp), Abuja.
Senior Special Assistant to FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, Ikharo Attah, who disclosed this to journalists explained that the exercise was done following a ministerial directive, to prevent loss of lives and property from the impending flood, and rid the area of criminal hideouts.
Ikharo disclosed that the area had already been marked for demolition since April 2022.
His words: “The FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammed Musa Bello gave the matching order to rid the city of criminals, which led to the massive operation in the city”.
“This illegal settlement is disturbing the neighborhood and the entire Gwarimpa I (Life-Camp) and Kado Districts respectively, with some criminals extending up to Idu Karmo and several other areas,” he said.
According to him, “So we came to remove the entire structures here, the entire village here about 85 per cent of it sits on the flood plain, the one we are removing here is sitting right on a road corridor”.
He revealed that Parks and Recreations Department have already evaluated the area and marked it for Green Area.
“The flood belt is to be greened and the solid area is to be used for parking facilities. This area is a road corridor and there is a grave yard and we are going to green the area until when the road is ready”, he explained.
The SSA, therefore, advised occupants of illegal structures in Abuja to stop giving bribe to people, who deceive them that they would meet the FCT Administration and stop demolition of illegal structures.
“We don’t collect bribe, some persons came here to say that few days ago, while they were giving warning, some people collected money from them to give to FCTA so that we will not come, but we are here now,” he added.
“They are now wondering why we actually came here after paying bribe and their leaders have all absconded,” Attah reiterated.
“So, we are appealing to people who gather bribe whenever they hear we are coming to stop. Just pack your things and look for a safe place to stay,” the SSA warned.
Ibrahim Salisu, a labourer and occupant of one of the illegal structures, while reacting to the demolition, expressed sadness over the exercise, claiming that their leaders collected N1,000 each from over 500 of them.
A 90-year old Aisha Wase, who lived in the area since 1999 said: “We are appealing to the FCT Minister to consider us in the resettlement scheme so that we can have roof over our heads.”
But Saminu Abubakar, a fish seller stated that the FCTA had already provided an alternative place for the inhabitants of the area during the tenure of Sen. Adamu Aleiro.
“Some of us are fully aware that the former FCT Minister, Senator Adamu Aleiro had allocated an alternative plot of land of about 4.7 hectres at Bwari Area Council to the people of this area.
“Unfortunately, we reliably gathered that their leaders sold the land and allowed them to continue to staying in this illegal structures”, he alleged.