There is a lingering disagreement between the Nigerian Army authorities and the management of the Nigerian Army Housing Estate Residents Association at the Nigerian Army Post-Service Housing Estate in Kurudu, Abuja.
While the Army authorities feel should take over management of the estate, NAHERA officials on the other hand, feel they should retain it. The reasons they have put across to some residents for battling to retain control of the management instead of surrendering it to the Army authorities is that if the Army takes it, they would contract it to external estate managers who would begin to make life more difficult for residents by introducing arbitrary conditions like increase in service charge and others which might not be conducive for all residents.
This disagreement, bordering on the management of the estate, has prolonged to such a stage that soldiers who usually man the gates are no longer as consistent at some of the gates. Besides, there is noticeable influx of different kinds of people who are capable of posing security risks to residents by taking advantage of the existing impasse.
While the impasse lasts, the standards at the estate are noticeably beginning to give residents cause for concern. I will through this medium however wish to appeal to both parties to quickly return to the negotiation table and resolve the contentious issues immediately, especially as I understand the issue is in court. It is for the benefit of all residents and their relations that the impasse should not be allowed to linger, especially at this period in the country when many Nigerians are sleeping with one eye open. It is said that when a family quarrels, it allows cracks on the wall which will be inhabited by insects and reptiles. Many people chose to live in the estate despite the long distance from offices in the city centre, because of the proper organization and relative security therein, but if disagreements are allowed to persist, they would erode these advantages.
Even in the face of the disagreement, it is my fervent appeal to the many Army generals and other officers at the estate to stand up on the issue of security at the estate. They should overlook whatever annoyance and re-invigorate the security apparatus at the estate in the interest of the many families that live there. One would have expected a military location of such magnitude to have its own market, hospital, nursery, primary and secondary schools and sporting ground for residents, but it is something the management should still think about.
Refuse collection is not as active in some parts as it should be, allowing heaps of refuse to deface some streets for days or weeks before collection. All hands should be on deck to make life at the estate more meaningful, and the management should intensify efforts to make them have enough reasons to aspire to hold on to management of the estate, while the Army on the other hand, should disregard the disagreement and instill discipline in the conduct of affairs by ensuring stricter security and closer monitoring of visitors and Keke Napep operators as well artisans working at the estate.
Chikamso Ugwuanyi writes from Nigerian Army Housing Esate, Kurudu, Abuja