Another ‘Selective Demolition’ Fear Grips Gwagwa/Tasha 1 Residents

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… FCDA denies involvement

Tasha 1/One Man Village Landlord association and residents of Gwagwa, a suburb in the FCT, under Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), has raised alarm over alleged ‘selective demolition’ plan of their houses by Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA).

According to eyewitness, Clara Williams said “I heard of the demolition plan from the workers doing some renovation work in my apartment, that they were asked to stop work by some youths, that they are coming for demolition.

“Immediately I called Aliyu (the guy that sold the land to me), and he confirmed that the lands have been sold to an Estate Developer.

She further stated that they got a news that Hakimi (District Head) and his cabinet members are coming to brief residents on the alleged demolition plan, “most of us stay back and did not go work, after several hours of waiting, Hakimi showed up in company of his Secretary, one Zakare and a guy who claim to be a staff of FCDA, we thought they came to address us, but they were busy pointing where the exercise will start from. We then summon courage and ask the Hakimi what is happening and whether the rumour we heard are true.

According to Clara, Hakimi confirmed that there is no rumours; but the government has come to reclaim their lands. “when we queried further, someone from the Hakimi’s camp, presented himself as a staff of FCDA, and brought out a rumpled paper, it is a letter from his office.

“Suspecting a trick, we further demanded for his ID card, at that point he knew the people cannot be easily cowed, he then used the ‘letter’ to cover his face trying to avoid been captured by residents camera phone.

The exercise, according to the chairman, Francis Egbo, will affect mostly non-indigenes.

The residents who mobilized themselves and went to the Love FM, Mpape, where they meet the President of Brekete Family (a radio call-in programme that gives ‘voices to the voiceless’), ordinary Ahmed Isa, who immediately called the PRO FCDA, Kalu Emetu.

“He (Kalu) told Ahmed to give him some to go through their system to confirm, and called back after 30 minutes, informing Ahmed that they have no business with Gwagwa/Tasha, that nobody have brought any complains to them in recently time,” a member of the residential c’ttee, Clara said.

Further briefing the residents at a meeting on held Friday night, Clara said “We also went to the Human Right Commission Headquaters, in Maitama, where we registered how complain and they promised to assist with some lawyer, who have been handling similar demolition cases.

From there we went to the popular Human rights activist, Barr. Maxwell Opara, who advise we get a court injunction as fast as possible, so as not to fall victim of what befell the residents of old Karmo”, she further stated.

“I cannot forget the last demolition in 2006, I lost everything including my hotel, and this only thing left is this bike” Egbo lamented.

The association in their letter dated 16th May, 2015, jointly signed by the chairman, secretary and other top exco members was addressed to the DPO Gwagwa police Division, informing him of the alleged demolition plan and pleaded that police or any other security agent should not allow any illegal demolition in Tasha, considering the rate of insecurity in the country.

It will be recalled that similar ‘selective demolition’ was carried out by the agency on 30th of April this year.

Residents has called on President Goodluck, FCT Minister, Hon. Bala Mohammed, AMAC chairman, as well as in-coming administration to look into the issue of illegal demolition of houses in the FCT.

The association chairman has called on landlords and tenants in the concerned area to prepare for a peaceful protest on yet to be announced date.

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