Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Demolition - FCT Ministerial C'ttee Seeks Indigenes' Cooperation

The FCT ministerial committee on demolition has appealed to indigenes of the territory to cooperate with the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to rid the territory of illegal structures.

The leader of the committee who also doubles as the Etsu of Garki, Alhaji Usman Ngakupi, said Sunday during a sensitization exercise of communities in Chika community that the committee's mission is to inform residents of government's intention to demolish villages within the capital city as part of efforts to check criminality.

Ngakupi, who is also the paramount ruler of the Gbagyi people in the FCT, said such demolition would affect houses belonging to non- indigenes and warned indigenes against integrating other Gbagyi people who are non FCT indigenes.

"Information reaching the FCT administration indicates that some settlers from neighbouring Niger and Nasarawa States who are of the Gbagyi extraction also claimed to be indigenes in FCT and have built houses. We cannot accommodate all of these people and I urge you to point on those houses that are not of the real indigenes for the demolition to be successful. We should be willing to point at those houses that are not ours and I want you to tell people around you to remove their property," he added.

Also speaking, Mr Hamza Madaki, deputy director, Development Control, who is also a member of the committee, said the administration is aware of the expansion of families and told those willing to build new houses to seek approval from them.

He said this would prevent the indigenes from encroaching on other peoples' land and appreciated the cooperation of indigenes, adding that the committee would be fair in carrying out its assignment.

Chief of Galadimawa, Alhaji Musa Barde, assured the committee of their cooperation. "We have actually taken the committee's assignments with seriousness due to the calibre of their composition. Your visit has also rekindled our minds that democracy is at work because the government has deemed it fit to come down to us and discuss with our people in the grassroots," he added.

Leader of Chika youths, Tegbedayi Yakubu, urged the committee to execute the demolition process with human face.

He said new houses built by indigenes were rented out to generate income because all their farmland have being taken over for development purposes by government, leaving indigenes with no option than to build shops and houses to rent out for survival purposes.

He said government has taken over the entire Chika land and allocated it to the African University of Science and Technology and several estate developers without paying compensation to the indigenes.

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