By Chris Emetoh
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCT) on Thursday in Abuja demolished illegal houses built at Sabo Iddo community near the University of Abuja permanent site.
Similar exercise was equally carried out penultimate week in Mpape, a bustling town adjacent the highbrow Maitama District in Abuja, when the FCTA rolled out its bulldozers, pulling down over 2, 000 illegal structures in the area.
Most of the affected structures were roadside shanties, containers and others said to be obstructing traffic flow.
In July 2021, over 400 illegal structures that which the FCTA said constitute security threat along the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Road were demolished.
The Chairman, FCT Ministerial Committee on City Sanitation, Ikharo Attah, led the exercise
said the operation was necessitated by the desire of the administration to enhance security of lives and properties in Abuja.
The demolition, affected Lugbe-Across, Lugbe-Berger, Car wash and Lugbe Zone 5, lasted for eight hours with heavy security personnel to avoid breakdown of law and order.
Demolitions of structures in Abuja became recurring ever since the former Minister of FCT Mallam Nasir El-Rufai commenced the practice during the regime of Former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
According to reports, more than 800,000 people were evicted from from their homes in Abuja as part of the former minister’s four-year drive to restore order to the capital’s chaotic urban planning,
The evictions, carried out between 2003 and 2007, often involved the complete demolition of houses in Abuja and nearby villages.
El-Rufai created a myth about the Abuja Master Plan to convince people that the plan justified and necessitated the systematic violation of the housing rights of hundreds of thousands of people,
Abuja was originally designed to be better organized than the commercial capital Lagos, which is regarded as one of the world’s most chaotic cities and was once described by former President Olusegun Obasanjo as a jungle.
But the plans for orderly development were abandoned by previous administrations, leading to the growth of an unplanned urban sprawl on the periphery of the city.
within the period El-Rufai period, it is on record that over 75,000 house were destroyed as revealed by the general counsel of the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA), Mal-lam Mohammed Alkali told a senate probe panel.
similarly, E-Rufai’s successor Senator Bala Mohammed continued with the exercise unabated.
The former Minister said the government was aware of the hardship the demolition would cause, but that it was a necessary exercise to rid the capital city of undesirable elements.
“I will seize this opportunity to say that the demolition and other social services we are carrying out as an administration is not something that we like to do but it is something that we have to do with a lot of pains,” he said.
In December 2012, Mohammed vowed that the FCT Administration would go ahead with the demolition of 31 housing estates in Lugbe, a satellite town in the nation’s capital. this was shortly after officials of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) rolled out their bulldozers and demolished 500 units of Minanuel Estate.
Virtually every part of the the FCT have experienced demolition at one time or another,
In November 2017 for instance,
The Federal Capital Territory Administration embarked on massive demolition of illegal structures in Lugbe, Kuje, Kubwa, Monkey Village and other satellite towns and settlements in the Federal Capital Territory.
The Director, Development Control Department, Muktar Galadima, said occupants of the affected structures were duly notified about the exercise, which he said would also affect various squatter settlements. Also recently
Some residents of Arab road, Kubwa, Abuja expressed grief over the loss of their property following the demolition of illegal shops by the Development Control of the ( FCDA ). While counting their losses, the victims said said that the demolition exercise caught them unaware as they lost property worth millions of naira to the exercise, mostly to hoodlums who had a field day on them as they carted away their goods.
Although attempts have been made in the past by different establishments to bring the FCDA to stop the exercise
it has remained adamant as every Minister unfolds his demolition plan
Earlier in July 2021 the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) called on the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammed Bello to suspend the continuous demolition of houses in the nation’s capital pending the investigation of the petition by the natives of Abuja.
. “We have found it pertinent to bring to your notice again the undemocratic behavior of some agents of the Federal Capital Territory Administration through the Department of Development Control”.PCC noted.