By Stanley Onyekwere
In continuation of its ongoing remedial measures to mitigate flooding in Lokogoma District,
the Development Control Department of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) yesterday demolished houses on waterways in EFAB Estate area of the District.
It was gathered that officials of the Department at about 2 pm stormed the area and started demolition of marked structures.
It was learnt that over twenty houses including two churches in the estate were affected, and official of the Department, at the scene of demolition disclosed that houses already marked for demolition within 20 metres from the waterways would be demolished.
Some affected residents were seen removing fittings and valuables from their houses when the bulldozer and pall loader of the agency got to the estate.
Explaining the exercise, Director, Development Control of the FCTA, Muktar Galadima said the authority embarked on the demolition as a proactive measure to save lives.
He said: “Something is already bad and we were there to salvage the situation. We have been telling them to come with their approvals.
“We have been shouting that if they have valid title documents, they should bring it so that we can value their property and compensate them.”
According to him, the government had to “save lives before we talk about verification.”
However, the chairman of the EFAB Lokogoma Landlords’ Forum, Alhaji Shetimma Gana Mohammed said the demolition contravenes an earlier agreement with the FCT Administration.
Mohammed claimed that the government had promised to verify building approvals to ascertain if the off-takers or developers contravene building regulations.
Describing the demolition as unfortunate, he said that it could have been avoided if the developer had done proper channelization of water instead of the developer describing flooding in the estate as a natural disaster.
“If the FCTA said those houses don’t have approvals, why should the developer sell the houses to the off-takers?
“Some of the owners bought the houses in trust, they are civil servants while some have retired to the village,” he said.