3rd March, 2022
By Salisu Sani-Idris
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has begun mass demolition of illegal structures behind the old Federal Secretariat, Area 1, Abuja.
Earlier in February, a demolition notice was issued to owners of the structures with a reminder on March 1 to leave the place.
Mr Ikharo Attah, Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT Minister, who led the exercise, told newsmen that the FCTA was worried over the rate at which shanties sprung up in the area.
He regretted that the secretariat that houses the Ministers of Interior, Trade and Investment had been taken over by the illegal structures which constituted a security threat to the nation’s capital.
Attah explained that the demolition followed a series of complaints received from security agencies and concerned persons, recently.
“It is worrisome, we have been receiving a series of complaints from security agencies and concerned persons, so, as part of our efforts to clean the federal capital of shanties, we have to start the pulling down of the illegal structures.
“The FCT Administration will not allow shanties to take over ministries of Interior and that of Trade and Investment with other key ministries.
“It would have been done in 2021 but because of the wet season we had to leave it till now, dry season, even now is not easy but we have to do it. We warned them time without number to vacate the place”
On claims by owners of the illegal structures that they were Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Borno state, Attah said the IDPs were few at the fringes of the Dunamis church and near the main road.
However, Sen. Ali Ndume (APC-Borno) who visited the area during the exercise, called for profiling of the IDPs.
“We are all Nigerians, we must obey rules and regulations, there is nothing wrong with demolishing structures serving as a security threat to offices belonging to senior government officials.
“Therefore, let all of you that know that you are IDPs write down your names for proper documentation,” he said.