By Folorunsho Adegoke
Save our homes, show us title documents, residents of Apo Tapi cry out as they troop out en masse to protest against illegal developers in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja.
The protesters have come out in their numbers carrying various placards with inscriptions such as ‘developers tell us the truth about the land’, ‘stop advert on the land without title’, ‘we are victims’ among others.
The protest organised by the Association of Landlords and Residents of Apo Hill also known as Apo Tapi commenced from AYA area in the capital territory around 8am on Thursday with a visit to these developers that gave them the illegal land for building houses including Shelter Gold, B-STAN Homes, Crown Prince Estate, Four Model Estate (Allegedly owned by Four Square Church), Green Pastures Homes, Eco City Estate, C.M.S Court, Iphee Estate, Palm Hill Estate, Spring Forth Estate, Alabasta Homes, Metropolitan Estate and Tobamat Estate.
General Secretary of the Residents Association, Miracle Uduma who spoke with Africa Housing News Correspondent lamented how they have been uninformed about the deals of the supposed developers turned land grabbers calling the situation an abnormality.
Miracle also faulted the FCT development control department and other relevant government agencies for not playing their role in averting these issues at the initial stage stating that some people bought their land for over 15 million with the least being five million naira, and have been living there for over six (6) years.
He, therefore, called on the federal government, federal capital development authority (FCDA), and other well-meaning Nigerians to come to their rescue and save them and their families from losing their livelihoods and properties.
Coincidentally, a prospective subscriber named Kunle Oloyede who met the protesters at the Shelter Gold office narrated how he would have fallen victim because he was actually at their office to be taken for land inspection before making payment.
When asked if any documents had been shown to him, Kunle said he requested to see the land title but the female staff he met there are yet to give him access to it.
However, leading advocacy group, Housing Development Advocacy Network (HDAN) has also decried the action being perpetrated by some developers who have been selling lands that does not have legal titles in the nation’s capital city and Lagos .
The group’s executive director, Festus Adebayo called for more consumer education in order to protect gullible Nigerians from fraudsters posing as developers saying the situation cannot continue like this.
Adebayo also noted that prospective homeowners must do their due diligence before paying for property-related services as the end result of the falling victim is usually disastrous.
HDAN calls on well-meaning and established real estate companies to create windows that can take care of these people that are falling victim to all these emergency real estate developers using celebrities, social media, and radio to deceive gullible subscribers.
He charged home buyers to always insist in seeing the land title and building approval before buying into any property.It is time that buyers must engage the services of professionals to confirm the authenticity of land documents before buying into it.
Recall that this is coming about six days after the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) warned residents of the Idu Train Station, Apo Tapi, and Lugbe areas of the Abuja Metropolitan Area Council (AMAC) about the proliferation of unlawful housing estates and other development.
The FCTA had said it has already served all pertinent notifications, and marked structures and is preparing to launch a demolition operation anytime from now .
According to FCTA, the alarm became necessary because of the escalating advertisements on social media by land grabbers and illegal developers of housing estates.
Meanwhile, “It is time to shine eyes before paying any money to any unknown estate developer”, Adebayo emphasised.And we are calling on all estate developers to settle with the victims to avoid any break down of law and order.