By Stanley Onyekwere
For the umpteenth time, no fewer than 600 houses were pulled down yesterday in Zamani village, located on the Airport road stretch, in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), over violation of FCT Landuse Act.
The Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT Minister, Ikahro Attah, while speaking to journalists during the exercise, reiterated the fact that local Chiefs do not have right to sell land and people should stop buying land from them.
He said: “For me I don’t think I can quantify the house, there are Development Control workers who are taking note but I can say over 600 illegal structures were pulled down.
“The Minister has issued that warning times without number, we paying a Kobo, they have gone against the urban and regional planning acts . They have violated the law. It cost the administration money, hours and manpower to clear them.
“We are not paying any compensation because they violated the law building illegal structures. We are not done with Zamani community, we have a city to protect. Someone came to offer bribe and the man spoke a language close to my own I refused, later the indigenous people came and claim the house is theirs but I said no because someone already came to offer me bribe and I refused.
“No chief has right to sell land. Even the ones Area councils allocated always go back to FCDA for recertification.
All the Chiefs even denied selling lands, they said they never sold land,we met them about three weeks ago and said the the land that were sold by people who are farming and the people farming said the land they sold were their farm land. And they turned their farmland into house that has no building plans.
“What is really painful is that we suspended work on Monday, in order to allow people to pack but most of them did not do what they should have done. Some persons are thinking Government is not serious but they should have known that FCT Minister is really committed in restoring the Abuja Master plan , especially to rid Abuja of illegal structures”.
Director, Development Control Department, Murkhtar Galadima, who was physically present to supervise the work warned his staff against taking any bribe from any person, that he will not hesitate to use the civil service rule.
“Today, we have worked more than two days ago obviously and today we have over 615 illegal structures that were removed.