By Gami Tadanyigbe
Abuja – Indigenes of Apo, Akpajenya and Garki communities, whose houses were demolished on Saturday, have faulted claims by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCDA), that they had been resettled and compensated before the exercise.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that more than 130 houses were demolished in Akpajenya community on Saturday by the Development Control to pave way for the construction of a major road network in the area.
NAN also reports that, Mr Micah Jiba, a lawmaker representing AMAC/Bwari Federal Constituency, also condemned the demolition of the community by the FCDA Development Control.
Jiba, who is also the Deputy Chairman, House Committee, on Area Councils and Auxiliary Matters, expressed displeasure when he visited the demolished community.
The lawmaker said the demolition exercise, which he alleged did not follow due process, rendered thousands of the natives and residents of FCT homeless, adding that it was not in the interest of the people.
The Leader of Akpajenya community, Rev. Tanko Danjuma, who spoke with NAN alleged that claims by FCDA that they had been resettled and compensated was not true, adding that the resettlement process was still ongoing.
“There was an attempt in 2015 to resettle Garki, Apo and Akpajenya communities for which the official of FCDA allegedly benefited 60 per cent out of 100 per cent resettlement benefits.
“Several attempts and cooperation by the people of Akpanjenya to ensure practical application of master plan in the FCT have been frustrated by the officials of FCDA.
“On many occasions, they have defaulted in all agreements, frustrating and using the chances in the name of resettlement to their own advantages of acquiring wealth,” he alleged.
He also called for a probe to unravel the rationale behind the quick evacuation of the indigenes without human consideration.
“Garki village was integrated in 1990 and names of household in Garki village, Apo and Akpajenya community were collected for expansion and was agreed that except for overriding purposes, no community or individual be moved or shifted.
“We learnt that their next target is Garki village and I have gone to seek an injunction restraining FCDA not to tamper with plots TC 124 and TC 129, hence no formal negotiation or any overriding issue,” he said.
On his part, Malam Muktar Galadima, the Director, Department of Development Control, FCTA, while briefing newsmen after the demotion, explained that the community was marked for demolition in January 2020.
Galadima said that prior to the demolition, the FCTA, through its relevant agencies, interfaced with the inhabitants of the settlement on the need for them to vacate the area.
He said that the area fell under the corridor of the planed Outer Southern Expressway (OSEX).
He said the community fell on one of the road interchanges linking Oladipo Diya Road, which is an arterial road with the outer southern expressway.
Also, Malam Nasiru Suleiman, Deputy Director, Planning and Resettlement, Department of Resettlement and Compensation, claimed that 131 houses and 169 plots were given as compensation to the affected persons in the community.
Suleiman said that the FCT administration had also provided a plot of land for the community Chief’s house, comprehensive development and commercial plots.
He said that most of the affected individuals had already moved to Apo Resettlement Scheme quarters, adding that only a few of them had yet to move.
He further explained that the policy of the Federal Capital City (FCC) was to resettle all the indigenous people affected by the demolition.
On his part, Malam Baba Lawan, the Director of Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), said that the village constituted an environmental nuisance and monumental waste generation entity.
Contributing, the Director, FCT Department of Security Services, Malam Adamu Gwary, noted that the village also served as a hideout for criminals and stolen properties.