Illegal development: Tension as community leaders fight AMAC chairman

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Abdullahi Candido

Palpable tension is building up at Karu Community, as some Indigenous leaders accuse Abuja Municipal Area Council  (AMAC ) Chairman, Abdullahi Candido of abuse of office by deliberately distorting the original development plans at Primary Healthcare Centre  (PHC ) in Karu.

The worried leaders said that the ongoing illegal construction of shops, meant for commercial purposes within the premises of the PHC , as approved by the Council Chairman, was not only an infractions, but an executive error that will adversely affect public interest. 

They decried that development of commercial shops was chosen, instead of expanding the already over stretched facilities at the  centre, saying the decision  was detrimental to the health and safety of Karu indigent people. 

In a letter of protest to FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, the community alleged that the Chairman disregarded the community’s concerns and continued with the illegal project, because he was bent on sacrificing public interest, to satisfy the desires of few of his political associates .  

The letter that was signed  by Shekwaga Ayinsa, James Babe Esq, Samuel Aye, Sunday Karu and Samson  Zhokwo, alleged that the  PHC commissioned in 1994, had been begging for renovation and possibly expansion, due to the ever growing population in the community. 

While they called on the Minister to urgently order the immediate halt of the on going construction, they noted that facilities at  Centre should be upgraded to meet the needs of the people and  present realities in the health sector. 

They further stated that it was unfair and unjustifiable for the Council chairman to be pursuing political interest, when the community’s and general publics interests are being neglected. 

It reads in parts: “We the undersigned members of Karu Community within the Abuja Municipal Area Councils (AMAC) write to complain against the ongoing construction of shops by AMAC,  within the premises of Karu Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC), a public facility that is meant to cater for the health needs of the community members and the general public. 

“We kindly write to your office to demand for an immediate investigation and cancellation of the said project. Moreso, that this project is not in line with the primary purpose of establishment of the Karu PHC.

“Since the healthcare centre, it has provided succour to the health challenges of members of the community especially pregnant women and the elderly, who go there for their routine check-ups, due to its proximity to their homes and all sundry  in the community, because it was established in the heart of the community, to serve the interest of the members of the community”.

Reacting to the development, Head, Department of Works, AMAC, Arch. Gaza Andrew, debunked claims that the shops were for commercial purposes. 

He said the project was rather a  completion and upgrade of over 10 years  abandoned Sickle Cell, public convenience with pharmacy shop within the premises of the PHC. 

Andrew, who reacted via WhatsApp messenger insisted that the existing structure was dilapidated and weak, and could not be continued, which explains why entirely new structures were  being erected.

He however, revealed that the activities at the construction site has been stopped since two months ago, due to the intervention of the FCT Development Control Department (FCTDCD) that issued a stop work notice on the site.

He added as it stands, the Council has stopped the construction works at the site since receiving the stop notice, so as to allow the DCD officials and its engineers to ensure that the proper thing is done. 

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