FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed
By Senator Iroegbu
The Federal Capital Administration (FCTA), unfazed by the growing outcry against the latest round of demolition exercise in the nation's capital, has marked 10,288 illegal structures in Mpape for destruction.
The FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed disclosed this Monday during the monthly FCT Operations Briefing Session in Gwarinpa I District, Abuja.
Mohammed welcomed the court pronouncement last Friday on the impending Mpape demolition exercise and urged the affected persons to please show understanding.
He said that FCTA has intensified sensitization and consultation with village chiefs and residents in the light of the looming demolition of their homes to avoid collateral damage.
"While the FCT Administration will uphold the rule of law in consonance with the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government, it is gratifying that the Court has justified the mandate of the FCT Administration for such action thus far," he stressed.
It will be recalled that many interest groups including the National Human Rights Commission and the Abuja Aborigines associations have roundly condemned the latest round of demolition exercise.
NHRC Chairman, Mr. Chidi Odinkalu had stated last week that they are setting up an investigation panel to look into any possible human rights violations following a series of destruction of properties in FCT, Lagos and Rivers states.
Also last two weeks, enraged youths at a shanty near Kaura District of the Abuja Municipa Area Council physically assaulted staff of the Department of Development Control who had attempted to demolish their settlements.
The Minister has, however, appealed to the residents to cooperate with the government as demolitions are carried out in the interest of the people since it is not intended to inflict hardship on the residents; adding that the sustained health as well as security of the collective populace are of paramount concern.
He stated that apart from safeguarding the Abuja Master Plan, demolitions are usually carried out for sanitary and security reasons because threats in these realms have to be nipped in the bud.
Mohammed further revealed that apart from the over 500 shanties removed from the Gwagwalada Motor Park, the FCTA in the last one month has removed about 398 illegal structures, sealed 10 properties violating the Master Plan-designated land uses and cleaned up posters under overhead bridges and other locations in and around the Federal Capital City (FCC).