By Luminous Jannamike
The Department of Development Control of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has demolished at least 50 shops in Kpadna community, Utako district of Abuja.
Vanguard gathered that the structures situated on the corridors of the community, off Solomon Lar Way, Jabi,
were pulled down for not only abusing the Abuja Master Plan but also serving as hide-out for criminal elements in the FCT.
Supervising the demolition, the Director in charge of the department, Mukhtar Galadima, said that the exercise would continue until the removal of all illegal structures across the territory is achieved.
However, he maintained that the structures belonging to the indigenous people of the area were not affected.
Speaking with Vanguard, Solomon Danjuma, the Secretary to the Traditional Ruler of Kpadna, expressed satisfaction with the exercise.
He said the occupants of the flattened properties were duly notified on three occasions, but they ignored the notifications until Monday when two bulldozers pulled up to the area.
Danjuma explained that the community had asked the affected shop owners to quit the area as far back as January 2018 but they snubbed the appeal.
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Likewise, he said, they ignored two ‘Notices to Quit’ served on them by the legal counsel to the Palace, Umoru Jibrin Esq., on the 19th December 2019 and the 27th March 2020 respectively.
Danjuma stressed that the palace backed the demolition exercise because of the rising crime rate in the area occasioned by the illegal buildings.
“We are satisfied with the exercise because the illegal shops have been more of a curse than a blessing to the community.
“Apart from causing traffic gridlock in the area at night, a lot of criminals, drug dealers, car snatchers, prostitutes, and robbers use the illegal shops as hideouts. Our community is no longer safe. We have complained to the authorities. Even, the FCT police command is aware of this disturbing situation.
“So, when the FCTA Development Control and Environmental Protection Board served the illegal shop owners 48-hrs notice to quit last week, we were glad.
“We expected the exercise earlier than now. It was the intervention of Senator Philip Aduda who sought for more time so that the occupants can move their goods that appeared to cause some delay,” he said.
Recently, the department supervised similar demolition exercise leading to the removal of structures in Lugbe, Karsana, and Apo districts of the FCT, where illegal developers were alleged not to be in possession of allocation papers or development approval plan to embark on such developments.