The Federal Capital Territory Administration, (FCTA), on Monday, demolished over 20 corner shops obstructing traffic on Tunde Idiagbon Way in Utako District, Abuja.
City & Crime reports that the exercise started as early as 5am.
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The Coordinator of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Umar Shuiabu, who spoke to journalists at the venue, said, “This is a continuous cleanup of Abuja. This area was very notorious. You can see the road (Tunde Idiagbon Way); anytime you pass here there is always heavy traffic, and the reason is because of the illegal activities in this area. While the motor park is inside, the illegal market is outside.
“Unfortunately, there was an illegal allocation, not by constituted authority, to build a market outside the park, which is generating all these tensions. We have been on this matter for a very long time for so many years, and we had given them notice so many times but up till now these people have not complied.
“Now, we have ministerial directive to clear the place and that is what we are doing in the next few days. You will have free flow of traffic; this is what we want in the city of Abuja. Whatever you want to do, you must follow the process before you build.”
Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, Ikharo Attah, said the Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, was not happy with the contraventions in Utako and therefore gave matching orders for the removal.
On compensation, the Director of Development Control, Muktar Galadima, said, “There is no compensation because the corner shops were built since El-Rufai and they have outlived their stay and purpose. Government gave them a grace of five years and they were supposed to come and renew but since then there had been no renewal and so they have outlived their stay. There is no compensation.”
One of those affected by the demolition, David Walter, Manager of Eddymark International Agency Limited, said the FCTA should have given them more time to pack their goods.
He said, “It’s actually unfortunate; although the marking had been there for a while but they came on Friday to mark it again. They didn’t even give us the day they were coming. They just came before 6am and started demolition. They didn’t give us enough notice.”