The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Tuesday demolished over 1,000 makeshift houses built by hoodlums around Kukwuaba District railway corridors.
It was also disclosed that about 2,400 shanties would be demolished at the end of the exercise.
FCT Department of Development Control said the exercise became necessary to curtail festering security threats around the nation’s capital.
Director of the Department, Muktar Galadima, stated that apart from security threats to Abuja, the shanties were becoming serious environmental hazard within the railway corridors and it must not be allowed to continue.
Galadima also vowed that the exercise would be sustained with weekly monitoring to ensure that the hoodlums do not reassemble.
He said, the illegal squatters are notorious of defying the laws, and disregarding government orders.
“This is in continuation of implementation of the FCT mandate of the next level by ensuring that we checkmate the issue of security challenges as well as bringing orderliness and sanitation to the nation’s capital city environment.
“So far, we have cleared over three hundred shanties (temporary structures made of batchers and sacks. The work is ongoing, so we will continue till the end.
“We had series of consultation with them, because in the spirit of the current administration, we don’t just move in, we to do some engagement and consultation, so that the people would be fully aware. And that’ is what we have done with the community here.
“We are going to make some investigations, so as to know what the land is meant for. Is it allocated? But if it is not allocated to anyone, what is the intention of the FCTA over this land? Then, we can tell the relevant authorities or department to take over and do what is necessary.
“We are going to sustain the effort, because we are not going to abandon the place. That Is why in the next two weeks, we will come back, and if we discover that they are back to the place, we will come and do what is necessary.”
The chairman, FCT Ministerial Taskforce on City Sanitation, Ikharo Attah said the place was growing too fast and it became notorious for rape and other crimes.
Attah stated that about 2,400 shanties around the area would be removed and the sanitation would be sustained.
“From my own assessment, what will eventually go here will be about 2,400, because even as at today, the bulldozers are still working.”
On the security implication of shanties along the rail corridors: Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the FCT Minister, Ahmed Rashid said: “This settlement based on security assessment, 90% of crimes been perpetrated in Wuye and Kukwuaba districts are from this shanty settlement. And based on intelligence and due diligence from all the security agencies, I think if we remove this kind of settlement, everybody within this area, would go to sleep.”
It is part of the mandate of the minister to clear up the railway corridors. Just few months ago, some people from this village attacked and broke four of the glasses of the train on test running.
We made strategic planning with the Department of Development Control and security agencies, so that we will not allow this kind of settlement to come up within the territory.
The director, Development Control Department has set up a team to do a follow-up cleaning on a daily routine, in conjunction with security agencies, so that this kind of illegal settlement will not come up again. This is the best approach for security control of a city like Abuja.