By Remi Johnson
The FCT Administration has moved its bulldozers towards Gwarimpa, where hundreds of illegal shanties owned by scavengers, traders and settlers were demolished.
Mostly affected were illegal structures said to be sitting on a major road network around Angwan Berberi, off Efab Estate, and behind Kado Fish Market, near Lifecamp axis of the District.
The FCTA Enforcement team carried out the exercise with over two hundred joint security personnel and field officers drawn from Development Control Department, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and other relevant agencies.
Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT Minister, Comrade Ikharo Attah said the action followed a complaint sent to the FCT Administration through Command and Control Centre, over the unassuming activities of scavengers , popularly called (Baban-Bolas) in the area.
Comrade Attah said those illegal structures were erected at the center of FCTA Cadastral C02 road corridor h Gwarinpa.
“We cleared all the shanties and we have marked the houses, and warned people to be aware of two areas they must not build on- road corridors and waterways.
“We have given them enough time to move, some of them we have removed before, and they returned. So we keep giving enough time over and over again, and the question is we have given you enough time, but have you given the government enough time before coming to put illegalities?
One of the owners of the houses in the area, who claimed to be a Legal Practitioner but pleaded anonymity, disclosed that she had bought the land for which she spent not less than three million to develop the structure.
According to her, she had planned to move into the newly finished house today, only to meet the red ink of Demolition Control Department on the new apartment.
She said: “we just finished, and we intended to pack in today; we actually spent about 3 million Naira to set this building.
“Actually no notice was given to us, and we acquired the land through the Chief of the village, at the rate of N220,000.00.
“You can see people living in this environment are stranded now,I wish to appeal that the authorities should give us sufficient notice, because we are human beings and looking at the economic situation of this country, people are just working to eat, as they can’t even pay their rents.”
Similarly, a resident, who simply identified himself as Mr Samson, whose place of residence was demolished, however admitted that most people were aware that the area has been reserved for a major road, linking many parts of the nation’s capital city.
He appealed to FCTA to always give prior notice to persons in affected areas to enable them salvage major valuables.