From Fred Itua, Abuja
Tears flowed freely on Wednesday when bulldozers belonging to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), rolled into Mpape community demolishing about 2,000 shanties, containers and other alleged illegal houses.
The bulldozers invaded the community as early as 10am, pulling down all the structures along the road corridors.
Mpape community has survived several demolitions since 2004, after slums like Idu- Karimo and other squatter settlements were dislodged in Abuja.
FCT Administration said the demolition, coming as a thorough sanitation, was requested by residents and landlords who had made passionate appeals to the Minister, to save them from the traffic gridlock that has made life unbearable in the area.
Chairman, FCT Ministerial Committee on City Sanitation, Attah Ikharo, said Mpape Residents and Landlords Association six months ago begged the Minister to come to their aid, as illegal commercial activities have taken over the road corridors.
Attah noted that the sanitation and demolition was long overdue and it was targeted at roadside shanties and other unapproved buildings causing obstruction along the road
He said: “Mpape demolition is requested by the residents and landlords who came to FCTA, requesting the Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello to come and clear the road corridors.
“So what we are doing is in line with the request of the people who want the road corridors to be reclaimed so that there will be ease of movement. As a responsible government, we responded to the cries of the people.
“We gave them enough notice, but many of them were basking in the euphoria that nobody can clear Mpape. One of the residents that have lived in Mpape for over 20 years has confessed that people can now breathe in fresh road, because of the widened road.”