By Gami Tadanyigbe
Abuja, Aug. 23, 2020 Indigenes of Apo, Akpajenya and Garki communities, FCT, have sent Save-Our-Souls (SOS), message to President Muhammadu Buhari over plans to demolish more houses by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCDA), without resettlement and compensation.
Rev. Tanko Danjuma, a stakeholder and spokesperson of Akpajenya community, said this at a news conference in Abuja on Sunday, to express dissatisfaction with FCDA’s policies.
Residents reports that over 134 houses were demolished in Akpajenya community on Aug. 15, by FCT Development Control to pave way for the construction of a major road network in the area.
Danjuma alleged that claims by FCDA that they had been resettled and compensated before the demolition exercise was not true, adding that the resettlement process was still ongoing.
“We have been in court for over six years for the Garki, Akpanjeya and Apo community on the resettlement issue which is still ongoing.
“While we are still waiting for the FCDA administration to resolve the matter, they mobilised and demolished our present existing settlement.
“We are sending a ‘save our soul’ (SOS) to President Muhammadu Buhari to come of to our rescue over a renewed move by the the FCDA to demolish and render us homeless in our ancestral land,” he pleaded.
The spokesperson said the demolition exercise, which he alleged did not follow due process, has rendered thousands of the natives and residents homeless adding that it was not in the interest of the people.
He also called for an investigation to unravel the rationale behind the quick evacuation of the indigenes without human consideration.
“They carried out the demolition without due process as most of our people have been rendered homeless and this is a place we have lived for centuries.
“There was an attempt in 2015 to resettle Garki, Apo and Akpajenya communities for which the official of FCDA allegedly benefited 60 per cent out of 100 per cent resettlement benefits.
“Several attempts and cooperation by the people of Akpanjenya to ensure practical application of master plan in the FCT have been frustrated by the officials of FCDA.
“On many occasions, they have defaulted in all agreements, frustrating and using the chances in the name of resettlement to their own advantages of acquiring wealth,” he alleged.
Malam Muktar Galadima, the Director, Department of Development Control, FCTA, while briefing newsmen after the demolition, had explained that the community was marked for demolition in January 2020.
Galadima said that prior to the demolition, the FCTA, through its relevant agencies, interfaced with the inhabitants of the settlement on the need for them to vacate the area.
He said that the area fell under the corridor of the planed Outer Southern Expressway (OSEX).
He said the community fell on one of the road interchanges linking Oladipo Diya Road, which is an arterial road with the outer southern expressway.