It was free flow of tears on Friday in Zaudna community, Abuja Municipal Area council (AMAC), as bulldozers from the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) pulled down several unauthorised buildings.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the buildings were demolished to reclaim Zaudna land for infrastructural 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 FCT Administration.
The Director, Department of Development Control, Mr Murktar Galadima, while addressing newsmen after the demolition, said the community was earmarked for land swap programme, where the administration gave out land to investors in exchange for infrastructure.
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According to him, the illegal structures were causing obstacles for smooth take off of the exercise, adding that it will not be tolerated by the FCT administration.
He said that prior to the demolition exercise, there was a notice with series of meetings with officials of the development control and the natives.
“Zaudna is one of the districts committed for land swap programme, where 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.
Earlier, the Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the Minister of FCT, Mr Ikharo Attah, said that owners of the demolished buildings had no land titles, except an agreement they signed with the natives on ordinary papers.
Attah stated that the FCT had been warning people against buying lands from locals, considering the law that made up the city.
He said that since the relocation of the Federal Capital Territory from Lagos to Abuja, only the Minister of FCT had the right to approve land.
“We are reclaiming the land earmarked for infrastructural development that 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,” Attah said.
Also, a victim, Faith Opaluwa said: “I am in tears because I spent a lot of money on this house, if my children return from school now where will they go?’’
He appealed to the government for consideration, saying that they had spent a lot on the project.
Another victim, Uguachima Lovelt, said that ‘’they had 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 me,” she added.