By Stanley Onyekwere
No fewer than a hundred households have been dislodged from Apo Akpmajenya community, one of the many aboriginal settlements in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), following a comprehensive demolition exercise in the village.
In particular, a total of 134 structures, hitherto used for residential and commercial purposes in the village were demolished at the weekend, to allow for the construction of a major road network in the area.
It was gathered that the exercise, which was carried out by relevant city management authorities in the nation’s capital city, happened after several months of serving notices of demolition to the affected residents of the community, located within Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).
Our correspondent reports that most of the affected settleers were seen salvaging some of their household items, as they seemed to have been taken aback by the FCTA officials, who were accompanied by a joint team of security personnel to effect their movement out of the village.
However, speaking with newsmen on development, Chairman of Ministerial Task Force on City Sanitation, Comrade Ikharo Attah who coordinated the exercise, disclosed that the FCT Administration satisfied all the requirements of the law before carrying out the exercise.
Attah noted that the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello is desirous of safeguarding the sanctity of the Abuja Master Plan.
Also speaking, Director, Department of Development Control, Malam Muhktar Galadima, who explained that the community was earlier marked for demolition in January, 2020, added that relevant agencies of government had engaged the residents and sensitized them on the need to leave the area as it falls within the corridor of the Outer Southern Express Way OSEX.
He added that the settlement was sitting on one of the road interchanges linking Oladipo Diya, which is an arterial road with the outer Southern expressway.
Similarly, Deputy Director, Planning and Resettlement in the FCT Department of Resettlement and Compensation, Malam Nasir Suleiman, said the exercise was in line with the policy of Federal Capital City (FCC) to resettle all the indigenous settlements within the FCC to the FCT, which is outside the nation’s capital city centre.
Suleiman noted that the affected villagers have been properly compensated and resettled, hence the commencement of processes of removing all the illegal structures.
He disclosed that 131 houses and 169 plots were given for compensation to the indigenous of people Akpmajenya community.
According to him, some plots of land were also provided to serve as the Chief’s Palace, comprehensive development and commercial plots, and that most of them had already moved to the Apo Resettlement Quarters while few others are yet to do so.
“ Do, all the people living in this Village have been resettled, We have given them their houses and all we supposed to give have been given. We served them notice since January.
“We had given them the last notice, which indicates that they will moved out. They have to give way because they are disturbing the construction of the road interchange,” he stressed.
Not left out, the Director, Abuja Environmental Protection Board AEPB, Malam Baba Lawan said the community had been a source of concern to the board as 80 per cent of activities therein were mainly commercial due to the fact that it is not a traditional Gbagyi village, as a few indigenous people were yet to move out.
He adds: “The village is now occupied by commercial people who are mainly traders and they generate lots of waste and those wastes are deposited even on the road.”
Not left out, the Director, FCT Department of Security Services Department, Malam Adamu Gwary, noted that the village hitherto served as a criminal hideout, where most of stolen property cars, are taken to.
Gwary however reiterated the determination of the FCT administration to continue to provide adequate security of lives and property in the nation’s capital city.