Fred Itua, Abuja
Few days after hoodlums masquerading as protesters invaded warehouses and private estates in Abuja, residents are still counting their loses.
Owners of Clear Estate, in Kuchi Bena, off Gwarinpa Estate, while taking journalists round their vandalised estate, called on the FCT Administration to come to their aid.
The site manager of the estate, Joseph Chukwu, said houses in the estate vandalised and various items like air conditioners, security doors and other fittings, are worth over N100 million.
He said the hoodlums had information that foodstuffs belonging to an NGO operated by the owners of the estate, were kept there. He said they carried out the vandalisation with so much malice.
He said: “They had information that we had foodstuff in our estate. We run an NGO. So, they concluded that we had items and money there. Last Sunday, they invaded the place twice.
“The first time, we repelled them. At night, they came again and raided the estate. They looted everything in the estate and vandalised everything. The items taken and vandalised are into hundreds of millions of naira. They did it with malice that you begin to wonder. Over N100 million has been lost. When we put our pen to paper, the figure may be double of that.”
Chief of the community, Esu George Gashiwo, declined to speak with newsmen. The community is believed to be a safe haven for hoodlums and other criminal elements who may have carried out the attack
Meanwhile, FCT Minister of State, Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has revealed that the Administration was taking steps to tackle youth restiveness that resulted to looting and destruction of government facilities in the territory.
The minister who made this revelation during a virtual stakeholders’ meeting, also called on critical stakeholders to embark on strategic sensitization of residents across the six area councils in the Federal Capital Territory.
She used the occasion to commend Kuje youths for their efforts in repelling the hoodlums who attempted to disrupt the peace in their community while calling on other youths from all area councils to be vigilant and continue to remain peaceful and law-abiding.
The minister stated that the FCT Administration through its Social Development Secretariat had set-up data desks aimed at collating the data of the youth across all area councils, adding that the data collated would help to identify the needs of the youth with a view to engaging them.
She further said that “because all area councils have peculiar demands, these Data Desks will be designed to serve individual area councils according to their needs and demands. However, whatever decision is going to be made by the administration, we will include inputs from all stakeholders as this will make us to serve residents better.”
While speaking on School Feeding Programme, Aliyu stated that her office has been working on training the indigenous women and youth of the FCT on how they could handle the school feeding programme so that they have more control over what and how their children are fed.
She, however, assured that measures have been put in place by the Social Development Secretariat to engage the youths and women in vocational training, just as she tasked all stakeholders to work towards identifying vocal youths and setting structures for leadership positions.
In their various contributions, stakeholders commended the FCT Minister of State for recognizing the role of critical stakeholders in governance, just as they pledged to assist the administration to achieve peaceful co-existence in the territory.
On his part, Senator Usman Jibrin Wowo, urged the Social Development Secretariat to set-up a platform that would allow the FCT Administration to constantly interact with the key leadership of the youth on the need to ensure peace and cohesiveness in their communities, adding that such platform would also help the youth understand the direction and policies of government.
While calling on the FCT Administration to better equip the SDS to ensure that they carry out their mandate, stakeholders also advocated for a physical town hall meeting to discuss some burning issues since the country is gradually easing out of the Covid-19 lockdown.