By Stanley Onyekwere
A nongovernmental organisation, Cities and Regional Development Initiative, has drawn the Federal Capital Territory Administration’s attention to the purported unsavoury situation of highbrow ECOWAS Estate, located in the Diplomatic Zone of Katampe extension in the Territory, which it said has become a slum.
The Executive Director of the Group, Mohammed Abba and some residents of the estate made this appeal when they took some journalist on a guided tour of the estate.
He noted that the estate has become a slum, as a result of the activities of land grabbers allegedly colluding with some dubious FCT officials and have taken over all available open spaces within the estate in which they are erecting illegal structures
He therefore requested the FCT Minister to come to their aid before the situation further deteriorates.
According to him, “what is happening all around, these development you are seeing are all illegal, but they are building without restraint.
“We have written severally on these issue to Development Control, they come once in a while, issue stop work notices and yet the developers are still going on.”
Simarly, a representative of the Estate Association, Mr. Hassan Jimoh noted, “what is going on now is particularly embarrassing because this is a diplomatic zone and this estate has become a sore thumb in this area which otherwise should be the example of structure and planning.
He said: “All these illegal development are being carried out on areas designated as car parks, green areas and service facilities for the estate.
“How the FCT Administration can keep quite while these illegalities are going on beats my imagination.
“To the best of my knowledge the area occupied by the estate has a designated C of O, whatever these developers are relying on to continue what they are doing is what no one understands.
“As you can see the entire estate has become a slum; a clear departure from what it was designed to be, structurally, the aesthetic has been distorted.
“The area has become a den of robbers and other criminals as a result of these construction activities.”
He further noted one of the developers boasted that even the FCT Minister can not stop him when confronted by some residents.
“He goes around with heavily armed mobile policemen, he told some of us that even the FCT minister cannot stop him from continuing with the development here,” Jimoh decried.
Meanwhile, all efforts to get the views of some of the developers proved abortive as the workers on site said they were merely hired hands and were not competent to comment onbehalf of the developers.