By Stanley Onyekwere
Officials of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) yesterday demolished structures, constituting major encroachment on road corridors around the busy Dutse Alhaji road, in Bwari Area Council of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
It was gathered that the demolishion exercise commenced at about 5:57am and end around 9:12 am on Monday, after which the cleared alignments were handed to the contractor, so as to speed up work on the ongoing road expansion project.
Speaking after the exercise, the Chairman, Ministerial Task Team on Free Flow of Traffic in FCT, Comrade Ikharo Attah, said the demolition became neccessary due to complaints from the contractors handling the road project.
Attah explains that: “Before now Dutse Alhaji use to have gridlock caused by the contractor’s working in the road. The contractors called us that they will not be able to work from the Dutse stretch to after the first gate that some people complained to him that should settle them.
“ We felt that that was wrong because the road belong to the Federal Capital Territory Administration and the people claimed to have an agreement to run a parking space in the market and demanded that the contractors should pay them 100 Million naira, and we felt the road project belongs to FCTA.
“The agreement they have with Bwari Area Council can not stand on an FCTA property and it did not affect the market parking space .Anything before the electric pole is part of the road alignment .
“So the contractor was afraid to go and start work , and you know, If contractor looses hope after we had advanced him with very good amount of money, there will be a problem.
“So, we cleared the enitre alignment stretch and we had to touch one of the ATM there, because it was wrongly located in contravention with the plan , you can’t out an ATM by the main carriage way people will now park and disturb commuters .
“We have done it before to Zenith bank and Sternly bank ATM were they all had to revert , we also touch a particular fense of a religious organisation that is in the road , and open up the alignment.
“When we were done with it we had to call the contractor, and asked him to quickly speed up the work, so that residents will not suffer, because of traffic gridlock in that area.”
Attah continues: “The road belongs to all of us as Nigerians , and sobody want to sign a leas on top of the road that belongs to us.
‘That stands altravance and null avoid, even inside the clause , the Bwari Area Council former chairmen signed with them, stated that at the point of revocation, termination the Area Council will not be obliged to pay anything.”