By Stanley Onyekwere
Less than fifty illegal structures, mostly shanties were demolished in a squatter settlement along the Idu Train station corridor, in Paipei community, the Director, FCT Development Control Department, Murtar Galadima has affirmed.
Galadima, who made this assertion yesterday, disclosed that officials of the Department in furtherance to effort at sanitizing FCT had on Tuesday carried a demolition exercise in the area, after three months of dialogue and sensitisation.
According to him, due process was followed in removing the said structures, after they were properly identified and marked about three months ago.
The Director, who was reacting to a a report in a section of the media, claiming demolition of about 500 structures in Paipei, thereby rendering tens of residents homeless, strongly denied such high figure and displacement of people.
His words: “ About three months ago, we visited the squatter settlement, where we agreed with the inhabitants that the structures would go, but they begged for time to move.
“But two weeks back, we noticed increased illegal development in the settlement, then we decided to mark them, adequately inform the people and removed them.
“Due process was followed in the removal of not more than 50 structures, not the purported 500 buildings.
“They were mainly shanties used for living and business in the place. All these constitute nuisance on the rail corridor.
“We held a with the hitherto inhabitants, and we all agreed that such structures will be demolished.
“This is because we normally give people time to vacate such structures, as we are trying to be humane in carrying out such exercises.”
He however, warned that the Department has upped the dismantling of illegal structures and settlement within the city centre and satellite areas.
He therefore advised residents seeking to acquire land or develop any property in the nation’s capital to ensure to obtain permission from appropriate authorities.