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‘Culprits’ of land use violation (I)

Also, the New PDP National Secretariat on Oyi River Crescent Maitama District was earmarked for demolition. The Adamawa State Government Lodge at Asokoro District was…

Also, the New PDP National Secretariat on Oyi River Crescent Maitama District was earmarked for demolition. The Adamawa State Government Lodge at Asokoro District was converted to serve as office for activities of the factional party secretariat.
The Government Lodge was sealed by authorities. The reason for these actions as explained by authorities was violation of the land use requirements as stipulated by the Abuja Master Plan. But the affected group viewed the actions as orchestrated political witch-hunting.
Curiously, all these ‘enforcements’ have been on the side of the opposing group in the prevailing political divide within the ruling PDP. That was the more reason a greater section of the public saw the actions contrary to what government said. We analyse government’s claim of the city land use violation as stipulated in the Abuja master plan, while viewing the general land use control as it affects similar developments and land uses within the city.
Starting with the Governor Kwankwaso’s development at the Maitama district, the area is earmarked for low density residential development according to the Abuja master plan. At the same time it has a green area at its rear in which plot owners with similar conditions apply for the extension of their plots to cover the adjoining spaces which are not covered by any title. It is to be noted that due to the fact that situations exist in many developed areas where some spaces are left without titles, as such the left over spaces either become illegal dumping ground or taken over illegally, mostly by miscreants. In our opinion however, green areas should rather be maintained and left for green development in order to promote ecological balance.
In any case, the application for the plot’s extension was made and approval was granted by the Committee on Plot Extension Sub-division and Merger, just as other developers made applications and obtained approvals. The new plot size became larger than the previous, and was reflected in the Certificate of Occupancy which purpose clause is clearly stated as residential. The new plot’s size qualifies to the status of a Special Residential Plot (SRP) due to its increased size; as such three structures can be approved.
Building Plans application was subsequently made to the development control. Based on the earlier approval granted for the plot’s extension by the appropriate committee, its location in a residential area and the attainment of SRP status the building plans approval was granted. The only exception would have been if the letter of approval clearly states that the extended part should not be used for any other purpose other than green development as required by the city Land Use Plan. The proposed structures should then not be sited on the portion of the extended part of the plot. In any case, building plans approval for the proposal was granted, signifying that all scrutiny was made and the application was found to be approvable, hence the developers’ commencement of work on the site.
The foregoing attests to the fact that whatever is needed as a pre-requisite for the commencement of work on the site had been satisfied. We are thus at a loss when authorities gave reason of violation of the land use. Who are we now to believe, is it the Development Authority that claimed that there was land use violation or is it the affected person that claimed that he is being witch-hunted for his right of belonging to a political group of his choice?