By Stanley Onyekwere
Residents of Kpaduma I village, in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), have lambasted officials of Development Control Department, under the Federal Capital Development Authourity (FCDA) for embarking on demolition of houses in the community, despite a court injunction restraining them from doing so, pending the determination of their case in court.
Recall that in what could be described as ambush operation, the officials accompanied by heavily armed Joint Tasked Force team stormed and started pulling down some alleged illegal structures in the community located within Asokoro district of Abuja.
However, in an attempt to halt the officials from totaling demolishing their structures, some inhabitants, used stones and sticks to inflict injuries on them, including a handful of soldiers that accompanied them, thereby forcing them to discontinue with the exercise.
Expressing his disgust over the aborted demolition exercise, Secretary to the community, Mr. Simon Baba-Yerima, decried that residents in the area have been subjected to a lot of pains, as a result of the announced nature of the exercise by FCDA officials and the JTF personnel.
According to him, “This is really wicked and for the fact that our case is still in court. It is really painful, provoking, disastrous and unacceptable, this is really an act of military cum civilian brutality against innocent Nigerians.
“The people who entered our community introduced themselves as officials of FCDA and Development Control, in company of well-armed JTF, as if they were going for war, just to demolish our houses. This is unacceptable.
“Because, our matter is in court and again, they are violating the law of the land. Is it a crime that we are poor? This is our village and we have the right to have a peaceful life, just like we were before the inception of the FCT.”
Similarly, one of the affected residents, Joseph Madaki, said the JTF sprayed tear-gas on them and shot in the air to scare them away.
“They tied up our people and told them to face the sun, beating them up as if they were criminals. This is very painful, why is this government allowing its citizens to be maltreated this way? We are suffering.
“The way they are treating us in this FCT is not fair, this is our land, where do they want us to go to? They want to push us out of our homeland, without making alternative provision for us. The worst part of this whole thing, is that the people doing all this things to us, have their villages in their various states and they want to remove us from our own. That is not fair,” he said.
It was gathered that the youth of Kpaduma I, who were allegedly arrested by the JTF; are Jerry Sarki, Yerima Fajemi, John Danlami, Kefas Tanko, Ishaya Danladi. And the community said that information about the whereabouts of the youth was still unknown, as at the3 time of filling this report.
Meanwhile, a top official of the Department of Development Control, Hamaza Madaki, who spoke to newsmen on behalf of the Director of the Department, Yahaya Yusuf, in his reaction to the attack on its officials and soldiers by residents in the area, had described it as a serious and unfortunate situation.
He explained that the department had embarked on the exercise upon discovering that the village was expanding beyond its limit; as people were selling lands indiscriminately to others, for building of shops and make-shift structures, which are not in conformity with the Abuja master plan.