The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Thursday demolished worship centres, shops, shanties and other illegal structures built on road corridors at the densely populated Mpape Community in Abuja.
Mr Ikharo Attah, the Chairman, FCTA Ministerial Taskforce on City Sanitation, who led the operation alongside security agencies, said that the exercise would last for the next three weeks.
He said that most of the affected worship centres extended their buildings and fence to the road shoulders.
Attah explained that the exercise was part of efforts of the FCTA to rid the nation’s capital of environmental nuisance and to curb criminality in the terriory.
He vowed that the administration would leave no stone unturned in the course of the exercise.
“The major illegalities identified here are worship centres, business shops, shanties, and other illegal structures built on road corridors which makes Mpape community look very offensive due to nuisance.
” The demolition of such environmental nuisance started on Wednesday which we are able to clear a number of shanties and containers on roadside and across and deep inside the Mpape market.
” Similarly, today we carried out major operation and cleared illegal structures and others that were extended to the road shoulders and we shifted them back.
” We also shifted part of the market back and we are able to do what we did here today, knowing that the exercise will last for three weeks,” Attah said.
The chairman said that all the plots that would be reclaimed at the end of the exercise would be handled by the relavant departments of the administration.
“What we are concerned about is actually road expansion. The department will be doing its job and one concern is the greening which will be carried out by relavant departments.
” Ours as enforcement officers is to clear the road, remove all the incumbrances, illegalities and once our job is done, we are satisfied that we have done our part.”
On his part, Mr Peter Olumuji, Secretary, FCTA, Command and Control Centre, said “in crime triangle, there is one portion that talks about opportunities.
” And here the opportunities that we noticed is the people started developing unplanned settlement and shanties which breed criminality.
” So removing all these shanties is removing the opportunity for criminals to hibernate and commit crime,” he said.
Reacting to the exercise, Mr Vincent Victor, a landlord and shop owner at Mpape, said that none of the occupants of the demolished illegal structures had approval from FCTA to erect buildings or shanties.
Victor, however, appealed to the FCTA to provide them with alternative locations to enable them continue their businesses.