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FCT Demolition: Bulldozers finally hit Mpape

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By Ben Adoga

Barely 48 hours after the deadline for demolition for Mpape community of the FCT, about six bulldozers were, on Wednesday, mobilised into the community and pulled down massive illegal structures.

In spite of the several warnings, residents s of Mpape seemed to be caught unprepared. There was pandemonium when FCTA bulldozers rolled into the community.

This came after over three-months of notices and warnings. The bulldozers invaded the community as early as 10am, pulling down illegal structures along the road corridors. 

Mpape community has survived several demolitions since 2004, after slums like Idu- Karimo and other squatter settlements were dislodged in Abuja.

This time, the Federal Capital Territory Administration said the demolition, coming as a thorough sanitation, was requested by residents and landlords who had made passionate appeals to the minister, to save them from the traffic gridlock that has made life unbearable in the Abuja.

Chairman, FCT Ministerial Committee on City Sanitation, Ikharo Attah said that Mpape residents and landlords’ association six months ago begged the minister to come to their aid, as illegal commercial activities have taken over the road corridors. 

Attah noted that the sanitation and demolition was long overdue and it was targeted at roadside shanties and other unapproved buildings causing obstruction along the road  

“Mpape demolition is requested by the residents and landlords who came to FCTA, requesting the minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, to come and clear the road corridors. 

“So, what we are doing is in line with the request of the people who want the road corridors to be reclaimed so that there will be ease of movement.  As a responsible government, we responded to the cries of the people. 

“We gave them enough notice, but many of them were basking in the euphoria that nobody can clear Mpape. 

“One of the residents that have lived in Mpape for over 20 years has confessed that people can now breathe in fresh road, because of the widened road.”

In an exclusive right with Attah after the demolition, he said they would continue tomorrow for the clean-up and levelling.

When asked what the recovered land would be used for, he said: “We’ve recovered the land. The Minister of FCT will decide what to do with the plots, and that has to he fast.”

Also speaking, Peter Olumuji, from the Department of Security Services, said that many of the shanties and the illegal structures demolition were being occupied by criminal elements. 

Olumuji noted that over time, reports have shown that criminal activities were on the increase in Mpape, because of so many shanties providing covers for them.

He said, ” this part of Mpape harbours the highest numbers of criminal elements and a lot criminal activities which the residents have been complaining about. 

“What the FCTA is doing here today is to ensure that the mandate of securing the city is carried out.”

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