Tears as FCTA reclaims Zaudna land for infrastructure development

Tears took over Zaudna community on Friday, as officials of the Federal Capital Territory (FCTA) rolled in bulldozers and pulled down unauthorised structures to reclaim the land for infrastructure development.

Zaudna village which is under Jiwa chiefdom in Abuja Municipal Area council (AMAC) is one of the districts earmarked for land swap programme by the administration.

The director, Department of Development Control, Murktar Galadima, after the demolition, said the community was committed to ensuring a land swap programme, where the administration “gives out land to investors in exchange for infrastructure.”

According to him, the illegal structures constitute obstacles for the smooth take-off of the exercise, and would not be tolerated by the FCT administration.

He said prior to the demolition, there was a demolition notice with a series of meetings with officials of the development control and the natives.

“Zaudna is one of the districts committed for land swap programme, where the FCT administration gives out land and the investor provides infrastructure.

“The demolition exercise is one of the programmes approved by the Federal Executive Council; so our responsibility is to ensure that the investor has no obstacle in providing the infrastructure,” he said.

On his part, the Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the Minister of FCT, Ikharo Attah, regretted that the said owners of the demolished houses had no land titles, except an agreement they signed with the natives on ordinary plain papers.

Attah stated that the FCT had been warning people against buying lands from locals, considering the law that makes up the city.

“We are reclaiming the land earmarked for infrastructure development but has been illegally taken over by some persons that said they bought it from the indigenes. We came in here, and interfaced with the indigenes and they told us that the areas didn’t concern them,” he said.

A victim, Faith Opaluwa, who was in tears, said: “I am in tears because I spent a lot of money on this house, if my children return from school now what will they do? That is my greatest pain. The government should know that we have spent a lot on this.”

Another victim, Uguachima Lovelt, said: “We have suffered to build this place, but today the whole place has been demolished. The indigenes sold it to us. I have been here for one year, but the notice didn’t reach one month.”

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