By Philip Yatai
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Wednesday announced plans to demolish about 500 illegal houses and structures in Dutsen-Garki, Apo District, Abuja.
Mr Mukhtar Galadima, Director, Department of Development Control, FCTA, disclosed this after a meeting with the leaders of the community in Abuja.
Galadima, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Monitoring and Enforcement, Mr Hassan Ogbole, explained that all houses and structures that were illegally acquired or built would be demolished.
He lamented that individuals acquire properties and lands from the natives and develop the lands without approval from the FCTA.
“This is unacceptable to the FCT Administration,” he said.
He explained that the meeting with the locals was in line with the reform agenda of the FCTA to consult the natives before any demolition exercise so as not to take the people by surprise.
He added that the meeting was to also intimate the leaders of the affected community and the public on the intended demolition exercise.
Galadima said that they have agreed with the community leaders to embark on marking of houses and structures, illegally built by non-indigenes in two weeks time.
This, he said, would be followed by the demolition exercise.
The director advised residents against contacting locals for land acquisition and urged anyone interested to acquire land to go to the constituted authority to avoid loss of properties.
He also advised the locals against selling off lands and properties to non-indigenes or expanding without approval from FCTA.
In his remarks, Mr Kak Bello, Deputy Director, Monitoring and Enforcement, Abuja Environmental Protection Board, pointed out that besides erecting illegal structures, people also build on water ways.
“This is not good for the environment. Building on flood plains and dumping of refuse on water ways contribute to the environmental problems being experienced in some parts of FCT.
“I urged people to be law-abiding and desist from building illegally and on flood plains,” he said.
On his part, one of the representatives of the community, Mr Danjuma Fanus, pledged the full cooperation of the community leaders for the success of the exercise.
Fanus, nonetheless, appealed to the FCTA to be considerate while carrying out the exercise so as not to make any of the natives a victim.
“We will cooperate with the authorities, but we also need your cooperation,” he said. (NAN)