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Kado village crumbles under FCT bulldozers

According to the Director of FCDA’s Department of Development Control, Yahaya Yusuf, “the removal of the illegal structures in the area is part of our…

According to the Director of FCDA’s Department of Development Control, Yahaya Yusuf, “the removal of the illegal structures in the area is part of our routine exercise. We have had to remove structures here in the past but people keep bringing up new ones. We notified the residents of the plan to demolish the illegal structures. We had even informed the traditional ruler of the intention to remove the illegal structures but the residents decided to take their chances.”

Speaking further, he explained that, “We had placed several adverts in the media that people should desist from building on illegal settlements. We only demolish the illegal structures and as you can see, the genuine buildings are still standing and so, we want to use this medium to call on owners of these statutorily allocated lands to develop their plots so as to save us the trouble of coming here to remove the illegal structures.”

But one of the victims of the demolition exercise who identified himself as Ifeanyi Ngbachi, disagreed with the director. According to him, “it is very inhuman for government officials to just come and evict us from our place of abode without adequately informing us. We are human beings just like them and we are Nigerians. If they want to demolish our houses, they should inform us well ahead of time to allow us prepare to move our things out.”

Another resident who identified herself as Bello Kabiru, lamented that “now I have been rendered homeless, I have been living here with my wife and four children for more than five years and we have built our world around this place no where to go now with my family.

While struggling to remove her last piece of clothing from the wrecked building, Faith Okoh blamed the government for refusing to develop the plots after every demolition exercise. According to her, “this is just plain wickedness. The government will demolish our houses and then refuse to develop the land.Why won’t we all come back to rebuild the houses. Besides, there is nowhere for people like us to go. Houses are beyond the reach of the common man. So what do they expect us to do?”

But apparently reacting to Okoh’s excuse for erecting illegal structures on undeveloped plot, Yusuf explained that such claims are unfounded and baseless. In his words, “the fact that the lands have not yet been developed does not give people the right to construct illegal structures in the area. It’s just like somebody telling you that he stole your property because you have not been using it. The land does not belong to these people so why are they building on them illegally? Besides, the government doesn’t develop all the plots alone at once. Members of the organized private sector too have a role to play in developing these infrastructures. That kind of argument connotes that people feel if they can squat in a place then they don’t have to make efforts to get allocation. The fact that a land is not yet developed does not give people the right to build illegal structures on them.”

While the illegal structures crumbled under the furry of the bulldozers, victims of the demolition exercise scrambled to salvage whatever they could from the wreckage. Some frantically tried to move their belongings away to safety, others perhaps, too dazed to do anything, just stared blankly into space.

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