FCTA Removes Shanties on Water Ways

By: Wisdom Acka

To sanitize and restore the Abuja Master Plan, authorities of the FCT Administration, on Wednesday, removed several squatter settlements on flood plains in Wuse Zone 3, Abuja.

Accordingly, several shanties were also removed to ensure and maintain the safety and security of area.

Senior Special Assistant to FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, Comrade Ikharo Attah, who led the exercise said it was unacceptable to have such notorious settlements along the river belt in the heart of the city, because apart from distorting the Abuja Master Plan, criminal activities were also traced to the shanties.

Attah disclosed that removal of the decades old illegal makeshift settlements was done following series of complaints about insecurity around the area.

According to him, ensuring criminal acts such as snatching of bags and phones, as well as dealing in hard drugs rampant along the corridor, stretching up to the National Mosque Area through the Federal Secretariat area were stopped, the exercise has become a necessity.

His words: “We have been here before. This is a notorious settlement along the river belt. To our shock, it is far wider than what we we expected, as we spent the whole day here.”

“We had cleared it before, but today we wanted to do some thing very comprehensive. We had to remove everything -all of the shanties. We hope that the rate at which criminals come from under the bridges and attack people- stealing from them, will be reduced across the FCT”, he added.

Some of the affected persons claimed that they had banana and plantain plantations, as well as other cash crops around the water areas, stretching up to Presidential Villa and Karon-Majiji.

One of them, Sani Halilu, said the exercise touched his life to the extent that he was lost of words to express it.

Halilu added that most of them were farmers and have been there for more than 30 years, eve as he disclosed some of them were students who farm and engage in trading activities to help fend for themselves and families.

“I have been hearing about demolition of our settlements in the past, but this is the first time I experienced it, and it touched my life to the extent that I’m lost of words to express what happened.

“Normally, we settle in a place, whenever development meets us, we move elsewhere, but this is the place we have been for a long time. We just settled here. We were not offered this place by the government, but we are just living and hustling here for more than 30 years”.

He appealed for the provision of another area where they could settle temporary, saying some of them have children and wives to take care of.