By Gami Tadanyigbe
Indigenes of Apo Akpajenya and Garki communities, whose houses were demolished on Saturday, have faulted claims by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCDA), that they have been resettled and compensated before the demolition exercise.
Over 134 houses were demolished in Akpajenya community on Saturday, by Development Control to pave way for the construction of a mojor road network in the area.
Mr Micah Jiba, a lawmaker, who is also a native, representing AMAC/Bwari Federal Constituency, had on Sunday, kicked against the demolition of the Community by the FCDA Development Control without due process.
Jiba who is also a House Committee Member on Area Councils And Auxiliary Matters, expressed displeasure when he visited the demolished community on Sunday morning.
The lawmaker said the demolition exercise has rendered thousands of the natives and residents of FCT homeless, adding that it was not in the interest of the people.
Rev. Tanko Danjuma, leader of Akpajenya community, who spoke alleged that claims by FCDA that they have been resettled and compensated was not true, adding that the resettlement process was still ongoing.
According to Danjuma, there was an attempt in 2015 to resettle Garki, Apo and Akpajenya communities for which the official of FCDA allegedly benefitted 60% out of 100% resettlement benefits.
“Despite several attempts and cooperation by the people of Akpanjenya to ensure practical application of master plan in the FCC have been frustrated by the officials of FCDA.
“On many occasions they have defaulted in all agreements, frustrating and using the chances in the name of resettlement to their own advantages of acquiring wealth,” he alleged.
He also called for a probe of the FCT administration, that a thorough investigation be carried out, to unravel the rational behind the quick evacuation of the indigenes without a human consideration.
“We were never compensated in Akpanjenya community, the FCT officials took over 60% of the resettlement benefits out of 100% resettlement benefits.
“Garki village was integrated in 1990 and names of household in Garki village, APO and Akpajenya community were collected for expansion and was agreed that except for overriding purposes, no community or individual be moved or shifted.
“We learnt that their next target is Garki village and I have gone to seek an injunction restraining FCDA not to tamper with plots TC 124 and TC 129, hence no formal negotiation or any overriding issue,” he alleged.
On his part, Malam Muktar Galadima, the Director, Department of Development Control, FCTA, while briefing newsmen after the demolition on Saturday, explained that the community had been marked for demolition in January 2020.
Galadima said that prior to the demolition, the FCTA, through its relevant agencies, interfaced with the inhabitants of the settlement on the need for them to vacate the area.
He said that the area fell under the corridor of the planed Outer Southern Expressway (OSEX).
He said the community fell on one of the road interchanges linking Oladipo Diya Road, which is an arterial road with the outer southern expressway.
Also, Malam Nasiru Suleiman, Deputy Director, Planning and Resettlement, Department of Resettlement and Compensation, said 131 houses and 169 plots were given as compensation to the affected persons in the community.
Suleiman said that the FCT administration had also provided a plot of land for the community Chief’s house, comprehensive development and commercial plots.
He said that most of the affected individuals had already moved to Apo Resettlement Scheme quarters, adding that a few of them had yet to move.
He further explained that the policy of the Federal Capital City (FCC) was to resettle all the indigenous people affected by the demolition.
On his part, Malam Baba Lawan, the Director of Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), said that the village constituted an environmental nuisance and monumental waste generation entity.
Contributing, the Director, FCT Department of Security Services, Malam Adamu Gwary, noted that the village also served as a hideout for criminals where stolen property’s, including cars, were taken to.