By Daniel Tyokua
There was apprehension on Thursday, at Sabo Iddo as the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), bulldozers hit more illegal houses in the area.
The officials of FCT Ministerial Task Team on City Sanitation led by the chairman, Ikharo Attah had about a month ago dismantled several houses built without approval from the appropriate authorities.
Attah said the exercise was aimed at promoting sanity in line with the Abuja master plan, not to hurt the residents.
He regretted that the buildings were raised without the consent of FCT Administration, through its Department of Development Control (DDC).
The chairman said, “Demolition at Sabo Iddo is to keep Abuja clean not to hurt the residents, or those being affected.
The painful thing in this community is that those who ought to have move after we came for the first clean up refused and are being decieved by the indigenes to contribute money from N2,000 to N10,000 to bribe us not to come back for the demolition, if they had gave us bribe and it has worked why are we demolishing?.
“We would not have the moral standard to demolish the illegal structures, if we had collected bribe”
On appeals by the indigenes for FCTA to stop the demolition, Attah explained that the sanitation team will decide on the next step of action in Sabo-Iddo after briefing the minister of FCT malam Muhammad Bello on the exercise carried out so far.
However, the Joint Security Commander for the exercise, CSP Idowu Azeez had warned officers involved in the operation against human rights abuses.
Azeez charged them to understand that the principle of empathy demands that security personnel do their job while respecting the right of those affected by the demolition.
On their part, the victims who don’t want their names mentioned, said they were misled by the natives to buy the land and build.
According to those affected, the indigene told them that, the lands were genuine because they were the inhabitants.
“The indigene sold the land to us and we built on it, they told us that nothing was going to happen.
“Since the demolition started, the indigenes have been asking us to pay money so that they will go and discuss with FCTA officials, We have been contributing as from N2,000 to N10,000 to give them, yet the demolition is being carried out” they said.
On security issues, the secretary FCTA security control and command, Peter Olumuji said the clean up exercise would help in the fight against insecurity in the area.