… Says no going back on demolition
By Stanley Onyekwere
All staff, both retired and serving who are found culpable in the scam which allowed developers to build in the wrong places especially flood plains within Lokogoma District , would be identified and prosecuted, according to the Federal Capital Territory Administration ( FCTA ).
This warning is coming as the bulldozers move to demolish all the structures blocking water channels in Lokogoma district, resulting in deadly reoccurring flood menace in the area.
Recall that Lokogoma district, one of the thriving sites for Abuja Mass Housing Scheme has suffered severe flooding that has claimed no fewer than four lives and destroying several property worth millions of Naira, in the last two years.
Making this point, FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Sir Christian Chinyeaka Ohaa, while insisting that the Department of Development Control would pull down all affected structures, after expiration of a-two week ultimatum, however assured that all those that have valid approval shall be compensated.
Ohaa, who spoke yesterday during a meeting between some officials of FCTA and Lokogoma Landlords and Residents Association, blamed the residents and off-takers of mass housing in Lokogoma for not doing proper due diligence before investing on properties without any valid approval.
He disclosed that the administration had tinkered with its policy of infrastructural development and awarded contract for some primary infrastructure in Lokogoma district due to the continuous flooding of the area.
According to him, “All the staff of the administration that are found culpable in allowing developers build on water ways, won’t go scot-free. We will make sure that they are brought to book.
“You off-takers didn’t do your due diligence before going to buy properties in the area where there are no infrastructure, and where houses are built on water ways.
“We are going to demolish the structures, and will not continue to look while lives are been lost.”
Also speaking, the Director, FCT Department of Development Control, Mr. Muktar Galadima noted that while most of the affected structures have been marked for demolition, actual removal was delayed to ensure that all stakeholders were carried along and due process followed.
Galadima opined that his department has evidence that many of the affected structures on the water ways were built without approval.
On his part, the Chairman, Lokogoma Property Owners and Landlords Association, Dr. Joseph Nnorom said the government should probe all the agencies that supervised the developers and compromised the rules.
Nnorom also urged the government to ensure that house owners who would be affected by the demolition were adequately compensated to alleviate their plight.