By Senator Iroegbu
The demolition exercise carried out by the Department of Development Control of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to restore the much talked about Abuja Master Plan turned bloody Friday leaving one person dead at Apo District.
The victim, a 20-year old Miss Lucy was shot around her chest after police bullet penetrated the wall of a photo shop where she worked as sales girl when the officials of development control department stormed Apo, around NEPA junction for the demolition exercise, in company of some policemen.
Reports had it that the residents of the area who are mostly indigenes, resisted the exercise, as they felt government had no right to demolish the area when they were yet to be properly resettled.
Some of the residents who spoke to journalists also claimed the case for the marked areas was still in court and that their leaders had advised them not to relocate pending the outcome of the case.
However, the events quickly degenerated when the FCTA officials called for reinforcement for the Policemen and in less than five minutes after their arrival, shootings ensued with residents scampering for safety.
"Unfortunately, one of the bullets reportedly penetrated the shop where the victim was and hit her around the chest. Although, she was rushed to Garki Hospital but was confirmed dead", said an eyewitness.
Also speaking, the owner of the photo studio where the victim was shot, Mr. Emeka Ani explained that police surrounded the area and started shooting indiscriminately.
Ani said: "Police surrounded our area. They said they came for demolition. All of a sudden they started to shoot anyhow. Through that shooting, they shot through my shop glass and look at the result (pointing at the dead girl)
"She is my sales girl and they have shot her to death. Even my boy too sustained some injury through the gun shot. She has been with me for barely a month now. Her sister brought her for me from cross river".
In the same vein, the National Coordinator of Greater Gbyagi Initiative,Mr. Gimba Baiza described the incident as wicked.
Baiza said: "I was going to the office when I got a call from some of our members that the police from SARS(special anti robbery squad) came with plenty vehicles to surround the village for demolition
"It is true they have given us a resettlement site but its not adequate and that’s why some of us are still here. However, the case is still in court".
"Above all, the constitutional review is on and issues concerning indigenes will be treated. Why cant they wait for the outcome? Why are they in a hurry?", he queried.
"You cannot take people’s land, their culture and heritage and still turn around to kill them. Please government should give us a listening ear", he added.
While responding on the development at the hospital, the Chief Superintendent of Police Operations of the FCT Police Command, Gabriel Inalegwu stated that the force has already commenced investigation into the matter.
"We are not sure what took our men there or what led to the shooting, its still a matter for investigation", Inalegwu said