The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has begun the demolition of about 102 houses built along waterways, following the recent flood incident which had claimed some lives in the Gwagwalada Area Council.
Garba Kwamkur, Deputy Director, Monitoring and Enforcement, Department of Department Control, who led the exercise on Tuesday in Gwagwalada, said that the illegal houses had been marked for demolition over one year ago.
Kwamkur noted that the occupants of the effected houses were given enough time to move out of the flood-prone areas, adding, however, that they had refused to obey the directive.
He said that government could not spare the houses anymore, following the recent forecast of more rains and consequential flooding that would affect the area.
Kwamkur explained that the affected community was part of the land covering about 260 hectares, allocated within the Abuja Master Plan, for the development of the University of Abuja at Gwagwalada.
He, however, expressed the regret that some indigenous people and other squatters were still occupying the land temporarily.
“The University of Abuja had written to us about the encroachment issue. The settlement here that is due for resettlement has grown beyond its boundary.
“And we had issue of flood last week where five persons, who were carried away by the flood, were confirmed dead.
“We actually had to discuss with the village leaders on the need to move away from the flood-prone area,” he said.
“The FCT Emergency Management Agency has also predicted that there would be heavy flood this year.
“So we are making some precautionary measures; that’s why all the buildings along flood plains will have to go.
“All the contravention notices have been issued since 2019. No government will sit down and do nothing when the lives of its citizens are being threatened by either flood or any other thing,” he said.
Responding, the Chief of the community, Mr Isah Egari, said that he was not opposed to the demolition of the houses built on water channels.
Egari, however, appealed to the FCT administration to give the residents more time to move out from the affected community.
He also called on the demolition team to restrict the bulldozers to the areas close to the water channels to avoid undue hardship on other residents who were not affected. (NAN)