By: Wisdom Acka
In its bid to rid FCT of criminal hideouts and ensure security of lives and property in the nation’s capital, the Federal Capital Territory Administration, (FCTA), on Monday pulled down parts of Kuje forest, which hitherto provided cover for criminal elements.
Head, Monitoring and Enforcement, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Kaka Bello, who made this disclosure while speaking to journalists at Pasali, kuje Area Council, explained that his team particularly received reports of insecurity and sale of illicit drugs there.
Bello, however, said that owners of the economic trees affected by the exercise would be compensated by Kuje Area Council, not the FCT Administration.
He also revealed that the Council was planning to relocate the market for traders of perishable goods away from trading on the road corridor.
Kaka said: “Well we have some security challenges in this area, there were cases of sale and consumption of illicit drugs in this area. And we have some cases of reported theft, snatching of bags and phones. It also has some security challenges but with the coming of the market, we hope all these security challenges will subside.”
“From our previous work we found out that there is spill over in the market. That is why we have people trading on the road corridor because there is no space in the market. We are facilitating the relocation of the market here to clear this place, especially those who sell perishables,” he added.
According to him, “There are many economic trees here but the Area Council will compensate them”.
Anglo Benjamin, a farmer, resident and one of the owners of the economic trees, lamented that nobody told them the trees would be removed on Monday, neither did they get compensation for removing the economic trees.
He said he had Cashew and Gmelina trees and they were all cleared.
Ishaku Adamu, from shetuko, Kuje Area Council, said the land belong to his family and there has not been any negotiation of any kind, from the Area Council.
“They have cleared our economic trees. The government should compensate us”, he appealed.