Kuje Demolition to Curb Insecurity, Illegalities, Must Go on -FCTA

By: Wisdom Acka

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Thursday insisted that its ongoing demolition of illegal structures in Kuje Area Council was designed to curb insecurity and other criminalities. 

This explanation was given by its Officials who appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Area Councils, to respond to a petition by victims of the demolition. 

Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) Coordinator, Umar Shaibu, said the exercise was undertaken by the administration to quickly respond to identified threats to national security, peace and order.

He noted that a careful procedure was followed, all extant laws adhered to, while the critical stakeholders were also engaged at different times, to ensure that human rights were not bridged. 

Also speaking, the Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to FCT Minister, Ikharo Attah disclosed that before the exercise, the administration was worried about the security breaches that had taken place in Kuje. 

This breeches, he said could not be tolerated by the administration, as it puts government in a bad light.

Attah explained that the most painful situation was that certain people disregarded warnings and illegally converted reserved railway corridors and public abattoir site to residential homes.

In his response, the Director of Development Control, Muktar Galadima  explained that Area Councils had since list the right to allocate lands in FCT after the reforms that were introduced in 2005.

He added that local chiefs also do not have the legal right to transfer any valid title to anyone. 

The Representative of Kuje Area Council Chairman, Ishaku Habila, who is also the  Chief Surveyor of Kuje Area Council, confirmed that the Area Council had followed the illegal developments, especially at the railway corridors with concern.

He further noted that notices were served at illegal occupants, while some of the buildings were removed, but the land was illegally acquired by others.

Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Yusuf Tijjani assured that justice would be done to both Government and the victims of the demolition. 

He also endorsed the motion raised by the Committee members who  raised the  alarm and doubts over the integrity of documents submitted by the victims and claimants.

The committee has ordered the FCT Minister to appear before it,  produce all relevant documents to the exercise. 

Meanwhile, the Counsel to the Victims, Victor Onyekachi,  urged the Committee to compel the Minister to do things right by first revoking  the land, halting  further demolition in the area and also enumerate the houses that were demolished and compensate the victims.