Barely 24 hours after the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Abdulkadir Mohammed, warned non-performing officers of the administration to resign, or face sack, the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), yesterday swapped into action, by removing illegal structures at a settlement near Gishiri village, in Katampe District, Abuja.
No fewer than 30 houses, mostly uncompleted buildings were destroyed, when officials of the Department of Development Control of the Council accompanied by armed security joint force carried out a demolition exercise in the Katampe extension site.
It would be recalled that the minister had during an on the spot assessment tour lampooned operational heads in charge of metropolitan management services in the Territory, for letting the city become talking shop, without visible result.
However, the officials stormed the area with their bulldozers and dismantled several structures being used for residential purposes and trading activities in the settlement.
It was however gathered that one Hajya Medina Adebayo, allegedly sold most of lands to unsuspecting persons, who built the structures, most of which were still under construction, as at when the AMMC officials stormed the area, for the exercise.
However, some of the affected persons who spoke to Peoples Daily decried that most of them had nowhere to go, as they were caught unaware by the exercise.
Speaking to journalists after the exercise, the District officer, Kalu Amadi, accused Mrs. Adebayo, of selling lands in the area illegally to innocent residents especially non-indigenes, contrary to Federal Capital Development Authority’s regulations.
He said they have been building illegal structures, thereby expanding the village beyond their original boundaries.
He added that: “most of the things we removed are on the road, because of what she did it became necessary to remove them, so that the contractors developing the district would gain access to the place to put required infrastructure for the proper development of the area.
According to him, there were adequate notices served on the inhabitants before the council embarked on the exercise.
One of the affected residents, , who identified himself as pastor, spotted, claimed that he bought a 50×50 piece of land from the woman for the sum of N45, 000, which he developed and rented out to people at N150, 000 per year.
When asked whether, he had any legal document on the land, he claimed that the woman told that the land transaction was for a temporarily period of time.
Denying the allegations, Mrs. Adebayo, who claimed to be the FCT coordinator of Ethics and value, said did not sell the land to anybody, but “what we do is built and cost calculation,” a kind of Build- Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement.
She said when people bring their money, she contribute and build houses, which they give out for rent, in order to recover cost.
“If they need the renting method, they tell me, because this is where I was born, my mother and late father lived even before the development of Abuja, but the government promised to relocation them to another place, which it is yet to fulfill.
“But I have my houses that I sole built, and rent out to willing clients in the area, since the government has not compensated us.”
Peoples Daily reports that in continuation of its intensive clean up exercise, a joint task force that is made up of all departments and agencies involved in the management of the FCT, also carried out similar exercise on the Kubwa highway corridors by Katampe power sub-station, where overgrown grasses and illegal structures had taken over all available space there.
They cleared and set ablaze several heaps of scraps and tents constructed with scraps, poly bags and woods being used by scavengers as home and ware houses for their goods within an empty valley land space beside the Katampe power sub-station, opposite Aso radio, in the area.
Some other stakeholders the make up the task force are; Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), Parks and Recreation, Social Development Secretariat, including the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).