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Defacing Abuja…from under

THE public protest conducted by residents of the Games Village , Abuja recently, deserves the attention of the National Assembly Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

According to their complaints, some highly placed individuals, construction companies and property developers, have formed the habit of building houses on underground sewage and power lines in and around the village. It is safe to assume that the same nefarious activities are taking place all over the territory.

Of particular mention is a school project a company, is reportedly building on a sewage line. The  worrisome aspect of this development is that some unscrupulous officials of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) have allegedly approved the obviously illegal construction activities. This must have been what emboldened the trespassers,  into moving ahead with their projects.

According to a report in a newspaper on Sunday, March 21 2010, “a visit to the site where Abuja Investment Company is currently building its residential houses revealed damaged underground cables that were excavated from their original channel, and thrown aside, thereby putting the estate in perpetual darkness”.

It is troubling that barely three years after the tenure of Malam Nasir El Rufai, during which he fearlessly insisted on the implementation of the original Abuja master plan, during which many illegal structures were demolished, some officials of the FCDA are not only back to their unlawful habit of illegally approving project sites but also developers have thrown caution to the winds in their haphazard construction activities.

Apart from these, there is the issue of the fundamental human rights of the residents of the Games Village and other parts of the city similarly encroached upon by voracious developers. A situation in which property developers brazenly uproot underground amenity lines, such as power and sewage and thus depriving residents of housing estates their right to decent living smacks of a total breakdown of law and order. Suppose the residents, in frustration, resort to taking the laws into their hands?

Those houses and schools being built on sewage lines are hazards for those who will use them because the floors of such houses have a habit of bursting open unceremoniously.

We are calling on the Senate and House of Representatives to summon officials  of the Federal Capital Territory as soon as possible and mount a public hearing to ascertain the truth behind this development and deal with it decisively. Abuja is one of the most modern and fastest growing cities in the world. It is the pride of Nigeria. We should not fold our arms and watch while a few privileged lawbreakers turn the city into another chaotic Lagos,  a city that the state government is battling to reshape into a model mega city.


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