Residents, Estate Executives Disagree on N145,000 Levy to Rehabilitate Government Road

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FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello

Residents and the executive members of the Residents Association of His Grace Pavilion Estate in Wumba District of Apo in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja have disagreements over the decision of the executive to rehabilitate a government road linking the estate to the Kabusa – Lokogoma – Galadimawa highway.

Some residents of the estate also believe the flat-rate of N145,000.00 imposed on all residents, including tenants and homeowners is absurd, noting that it was not their responsibility to reconstruct government road for which the FCDA must have voted public funds or is at the verge of repairing.
They wonder if there was an element of corruption in this affair through criminal collusion between the executive and officials of the FCDA, who may have knowledge of the amount voted for the rehabilitation of the vital link road.

They have also complained about their being physically stopped from driving outside the estate, describing it as highhanded and unconventional. “Three other estates are involved in the project but they are not using the same method of fundraising,” said an aggrieved resident, Mr. Paddy Ezeala.
“There has been deep-seated disenchantment over the way and manner the Executive of the Residents Association of the Estate has been going about raising the funds.

On Thursday and Friday, 18th and 19th of May, 2017 respectively, the executive barricaded the entrance and exit gates of the estate with the support of heavily armed policemen in full combat gear without name tags and numbers, insisting that every resident showed his or her receipt or any other evidence of having paid the said sum before going to work in the morning of those days. Some residents stayed back while others resorted to other means of transportation leaving their vehicles behind. The question is: Do members of the executive of the Residents Association have the powers to stop people from going about their normal businesses? This is the height of impunity and lawlessness,” said Ezeala, one of the residents who had to leave their vehicles behind in the two days of siege on the estate.

“It is most unfortunate that executive members elected to ensure the welfare of residents have turned into a band of intemperate and implacable extortionists,” Ezeala said.
He decried the “inequitable approach whereby tenants and landlords are being made to pay the same amount of money when they all do not have the same stake in the estate.”

He also questioned the chances of accountability and probity “when some of the people who barricaded the gates have surreptitiously appointed themselves as contractors for the completion of the project in the guise of direct labour.”
Ezeala said, “We have had enough of this reign of megalomania and groundless impunity”, and vowed to draw the attention of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and that of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to this ugly development. “This physical and psychological intimidation of law abiding citizens must stop,” he said.

The Chairman of the estate’s executive (name withheld) declined to comment on the issue when he was called on telephone and did not respond to a text message requesting explanation from him.