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FCTA demolishes 27-year-old shanties, plans relocation for 1,000 occupants

The shanties have been demolished several times but were rebuilt by the occupants.

FCTA has demolished shanties illegally built on a road corridor in Wuse Zone 3 [Leadership News]

The Coordinator of the Council, Felix Obuah, told journalists after the exercise in Abuja on Wednesday, that the move was part of efforts to clear all shanties in the city.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the shanties, called by the occupants as Unguwan Yan Lambu, were built over 27 years ago.

The shanties have been demolished several times but were rebuilt by the occupants. Obuah said that the location was preserved for a road corridor, adding that the illegal occupation has become a security threat, apart from defacing the beauty of the city.

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“Also disturbing is that criminals and miscreants have made this location a safe haven.

“So, we decided to come and clear all the shanties and remove the criminals that have taken over the road corridor to give Abuja its desired beauty.

“We can’t allow this again. Our aim is to beautify the city and make Abuja a city we will all be proud of,” he said.

He added that a task force would be set up to make sure that none of the illegal occupants rebuild any shanty in the area again. He also announced plans to relocate the occupants to a permanent location to ensure that no one returns.

“We are going to write a memo to the FCT Minister, Mr Nyesom Wike, to seek his approval and see how far we can go about the relocation plan.

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“From what we can see, there are huge number of people illegally residing here. So, if we can relocate them within a very short possible time, they will not come back here again.

“We are also going to make provisions to make sure that they do not suffer undue hardship.

“You see, some of the occupants are very young; some with children, and out of my pocket, I have donated a small amount of money to enable them to relocate immediately.

“If we don’t take this measure now, they will go to another place and create nuisance,” Obuah stated.

Responding to the development, Malam Mohammed Musa, the chairman of the community, said that the area was occupied by about 1,000 people, including women and children.

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Musa said that the occupants, predominantly dry-season farmers, have been there for about 27 years, with some made up of 15 family members. He acknowledged receiving notice of the demolition and thanked the government for allowing them to stay there for over 27 years and to make a living in dry-season farming.

He, however, called on the FCT Administration to come to their aid, adding that some of them were displaced from their homes by bandits and other forms of insecurity.

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