The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has raided uncompleted buildings and dislodged their illegal occupants.
The raid, which took place on Monday across districts in Abuja, was part of measures to tackle insecurity in the nation’s capital city.
Officials of Development Control Department in collaboration with Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and Department of Security Services of the FCTA carried out the raid in buildings situated in Wuye and Maitama districts, where not less than 150 people were squatting.
The Director, Development Control Department, Mukhtar Galadima, said the exercise did not involve demolition, but the dislodgement of hoodlums from some of the uncompleted buildings.
He explained that the exercise was in line with the FCT Administration’s policy that nobody should transact any business or stay in or under any uncompleted building in Abuja.
He stressed that there are risks associated with uncompleted buildings, and no one could ascertain the integrity of the structure, as it had been abandoned for a long time.
“In collaboration with Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and Department of Security Services of the FCTA, we will soon start evacuating these people – occupants of uncompleted buildings – and forwarding them to the FCT Social Development Secretariat for possible rehabilitation and/or prosecution.
“The exercise is part of city management, which is a continuous process. Now we are looking at the angle of security; most of these uncompleted buildings are where hoodlums stay and perpetuate their nefarious activities from there.
“We visited Wuye and Maitama Districts. At an uncompleted building on Shehu Shagari Way, we had about 33 inhabitants under one building, and such circumstances pose a threat to security.
“In Wuye, we have some of these uncompleted buildings where these hoodlums go to stay.
“You could recall our operation in Ruga settlement. When they were dislodged from there, some of them moved to Wuye. That’s why we have to move in and continue the exercise, and it’s not a one-time exercise,” he stated.
On whether notices were served before the evacuation exercise, the director said “they were given enough notices. For instance, on the uncompleted building in Shehu Shagari Way, Maitama, in 2017 we were there, in 2018 we were there, and this year we visited them and warned the occupants to leave. It’s a continuous process, but this time around, we will do it once and for all.”
One of the affected inhabitants in Maitama District, Evangelist Livinus Okeji, said most of them have been doing business inside the uncompleted building adjacent to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) building for almost a year.
He, however, appealed for more time for the about 60 businesses to vacate the premises, as the yuletide season is fast approaching.