By Marcus Ikechukwu
Moves to rid the nation’s capital of illegal structures, especially shanty-dwelling communities, have seen the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) visiting the Gishiri community in the Maitama District with its demolition machines.
Several unauthorized hideouts for alleged criminal groups were demolished on Monday when officials of the Department of Development Control, accompanied by security officials, began the exercise.
According to the FCT authorities, the demolition is also aimed at slowing down the pace at which unauthorized squatters and individuals infiltrate the city centre.
Although the administration won’t ban Nigerians from migrating to and residing in Abuja, unlawful structures can’t be allowed to deface the city, Ikharo Attah, Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to FCT Minister, noted during the exercise.
Attah said Gishiri community has proximity to the highbrow Maitama District, hence the need to strictly regulate human activities there.
According to him, the administration has received several complaints of security breaches from the community.
” The influx of people is responsible for the increasing shanties; they are even taking over the streets. People who come to Abuja can stay in the suburb than go to places where they live under trees, bridges everywhere. We won’t condone that,” he said.
“We are carrying out this exercise because we got a lot of complaints over the weekend. And as you can see, shanties have started springing up from the community to the Maitama junction.
” That is why we had to quickly come and clear them because they serve as a haven to criminals. Criminals hang around in these shanties to attack the neighbourhood.
In a related event, the Assistant Director of Enforcement in Abuja Environmental Protection Board, Kaka Bello, said the shanties in Gishiri had been demolished several times, but deviant people continue to erect more.
Bello stated that the enforcement wouldn’t be stopped until people begin to respect the city’s rules.
He added that apart from the shanties destroying the Environmental beauty of the city, they equally contribute to the festering insecurity which all relevant agencies have been confronting.
Recently, the FCTA has strengthened its efforts to rid the city of illegal structures, a development that has been condemned in some quarters.