Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has demolished scores of shanties for providing cover for criminal activities at Idu district, which is major railway corridor in the territory.
The clean up exercise was led by the Senior Special Assistant to the FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, Ikharo Attah, in collaboration with the Department of Development Control, security services and the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB).
Attah decried the spate at which shanties and slums were springing up on busy junctions, abandoned plots and green areas in Abuja, vowing that such practice would not be tolerated.
“While removing shanties and squatters across the city, we have observed in contravention of urban and regional planning acts and AEPB Acts that people now see very busy junctions and empty plots as places where they can just put up shanties and ‘barchers’ and endanger lives.
“What we need is regular and routine removals of all the contraventions and ensure that the city is clean and the areas that provide cover for criminals safeguarded. When you remove the ‘barchers’ and shanties and all the illegal structures, you discover that you would have reduced crimes, while also restoring the Abuja Master Plan and dignity of the city,” Attah said.
The Head, Monitoring and Enforcement, AEPB, Kaka Bello, lamented the stealing and vandalism of some the infrastructure like manhole covers in the area and the thriving of shanties on the road corridors.
“Government spent a lot to put up the infrastructure, but you can see how some people have turned part of the road into illegal structures. The implication on the environment is negative. It is an eyesore for a city like this. And we won’t allow this form of illegality,” Kaka said.
Similarly, the Field Coordinator, FCT Special Ministerial Committee on Transportation and Public Nuisances, Mr. Olumiji Peter, said most of the shanties and ‘barchers’ harboured criminal elements who usually come out in the night to rob innocent people of their valuables.