Wike orders demolition of scavengers’ colony in Abuja

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By Philip Yatai

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike, has ordered the demolition of a scavengers’ colony along the road corridor cutting across Mabushi, Jahi and Kado Districts.

Wike gave the order in Abuja on Tuesday, when he visited the area, officially known as ‘Road N12’ in Mabushi District of the FCT.

He described the colony, located behind the Minister’s Quarters in Mabushi District, as a “threat” to the security of the city.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the area had been taken over by scavengers popularly known as ‘Baban Bola’, including mechanics and furniture makers.

The minister, who was accompanied by a combined team of security personnel and senior officials of FCT Administration, added that efforts would be heightened to rid the city of criminal elements.

He said that such dens of criminals would not be allowed in the FCT.

He said that the colony was also encouraged by the thick canopy of cashew trees planted by the indigenous people of the FCT for speculative purposes.

Wike warned against planting such trees in areas where the government had mapped out for development.

According to him, the government will not pay compensation for the trees.

Wike ordered the Development Control Department and the Federal Capital Development Authority to clear the entire area and take a scope of the road for preliminary works.

“You should not compensate them. This is a hideout of criminals, and the communities should stop planting trees in the area.

“When they see that the government intends to develop the road, they come and plant crops for the government to pay compensation. We are not going to do any compensation.

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“The Development Control must clear this area, chase out all these criminals.

“These are the kind of things you see that people commit crimes and then before you know it, they run down here for cover and people will be saying oh, FCT is not safe.

“It is not a question of giving them notice. There is no notice. You must chase them out now and clear the entire area,” he said.

The minister assured the residents of FCT that the government would do everything possible to reduce the level of crime.

Mr Mukhtar Galadima, Coordinator, Federal Capital Territory City Management Task Team, assured the minister that the area would be cleared of all structures and send the criminals packing.

Galadima, who is also the Director, Department of Development Control, said that the area was proposed for a transit road network that transverses the city across districts.

He said that scavengers had however turned the area into a colony, harbouring all kinds of criminals.

“With the security challenges across the country, illegal activities of this nature will not be allowed to continue.

“That is why we are not giving consideration to compensation; we have to secure the place.

“After the clearing the area, FCDA will move in immediately, nobody will come in and settle again,” he said. (NAN)

Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani

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