Minister of the Federal Capital territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, says his administration has seen to the demolition of about 124,000 houses since he came into office in April 2010.
The minister disclosed this yesterday, while responding to questions from residents of the territory at the FCT Peoples Forum, held at the congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Abuja, as part of activities for the Good Governance Tour of the FCT, organised by the Federal Ministry of Information.
“We cannot be cowards to sit down and see people abusing the master plan the way they are doing with absolute recklessness, deepening impunity to a level where anything goes. But this is something we must do; we don’t want to cause pains and waste but certainly we have to do it. We are demolishing and we will continue to demolish to safeguard the city from problems.
“My predecessor demolished about 30,000 houses, I’m sorry to say I have demolished about 124,000 since I came, maybe because the challenges are different and we do it through persuasion. We exercise and deepen community relations in such a way that people will know we are doing it after due negotiation and persuasion,” he said.
On the issue of demolition of Mpape community, the minister said while he had nothing against the people of Mpape, the place had to be demolished in the long run as it constituted a security problem for the city because of its present state.
“I want to seize the opportunity to tell the residents of Mpape that I have nothing against them and I’m really pained to see what they are going through and the president has stopped me because of the human face of this administration that we cannot unleash a lot of terror on our people in the rainy season and some of them were fasting then. So we put a lull over it so that we can continue with enumeration. Most of them have even left the place. That place is a security problem to the FCT.
“To take it further, we are going to build an estate on about 50 hectares at Kafa through the Abuja Property Development Company so that all those affected by demolition will be the first to own a house of their own in this estate and through that we will be able to give demolition a human face but certainly we will have to demolish the place,” he added.
On the issue of resettlement of indigenous Abuja people, the minister lamented that the people had been treated unfairly in the past but assured that the administration was working assiduously to complete resettlement areas in Wasa and other places to properly resettle the people before it commences its urban integration.