By Stanley Onyekwere
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) through the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) yesterday demolished a multimillion naira property belonging to Dame Patience Jonathan, wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, for allegedly contravening the FCT Land use Act.
Officials under the supervision of AMMC Coordinator, Umar Shuaibu pulled down the structure (still at roofing stage), located within a sprawling multi-billion naira property under the name of A. Aruera Reachout Foundation/Women for Change Development Initiative, in Mabushi area of Abuja Metropolis.
In particular, the AMMC officials accompanied by a joint team of security personnel forcefully gained access into the premises and demolished a multi-purpose hall, along with illegal structures behind the main building, for flaunting development control regulations in the Territory.
Speaking to journalists during the exercise, the AMMC Coordinator, explained that the demolished structure was an illegal extension, which was being developed without approval.
He said officials of Development Control Department of the Council had since last year served the developers with relevant abatement notices, but they refused to comply, leaving the authorities with no choice but to pull down those structures.
His words: “We served them notices, but they refused to comply so we have no choice but to pull down those structures
“And if they have approval, we would not have been there. Everyone must have approval before commencing any development in the FCT.
“Abuja is a planned city, so if we do not control the development in the city, we won’t have met it the way it is today.
“If we have been leaving illegal developments within the city, this city would have been inhabitable for people.
“We are going round the city, anywhere there is any illegal development in the city, anywhere there is any activity that is obstructing traffic, obstructing peoples activities based on approved designs, we will stop it.”
He continues: “We will not stop at removal of all illegal structures across the Territory, but we will submit for relevant measure that is necessary for that type of action.
“So it is not only the pulling down, we are now submitting a report, even if it means for the plot to be revoked, because we did not allocate those plots for the use in which they are doing.
“Where we have to station security agents to control traffic, where we have to use our machine to correct whatever developments that are illegal, we will make sure we deploy our machines to make the correction.
“Where we have to warn people, we will warn people, we will warn people. It is not always that we employ use of demolition. We always require the people to remove their valuables themselves before we go in, and if we go in, they have to pay us the cost of our activity.”