The Development Control Department of Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) has ruled out compensation for illegal structures demolished in Kubwa, Abuja.
Mr Kalu Emetu, the Head, Public Relations of the Department, said this while reacting to the demolition exercise carried out on Wednesday in Kubwa, a suburb in Abuja.
Emetu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the demolished structures had issues bordering on legality.
He said that some of the structures were constructed on peoples’ plots; some encroached on the road corridors while others were built under high tension cables.
“All these conditions make the structures illegal and fit for demolition and the issue of compensation does not arise in the case of illegal structures
“We always advise residents to be more careful in acquiring plots in Abuja.
“They should not encroach on peoples’ plots and they should beware of road corridors and high tension cables.’’
On pains and agony caused to the victims of the demolition, Emetu said that the department did not derive joy in making life difficult for residents.
He said his unit was only executing its mandate of controlling structural development in all parts of the Federal Capital Territory.
“The task of removing illegal structures can be very difficult because of the pain it brings to some residents.
“However, it is our mandate to control development of structures in the Federal Capital Territory.
“If that is not done, the city will soon become an eyesore and Nigerians will not have a world class capital city that Abuja was designed to be.
NAN reports that the demolition affected some structures in 2:1, Arab Road and Byazhin areas.
Some of the victims who spoke to NAN, narrated their ordeal.
Mr Biodun Amodu, the owner of one of the demolished structures, described the action of the department as “inhuman.’’
Amodu said that his plot was legally acquired from the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA).
“I applied for this plot through the FCDA and it was duly allocated to me, but now they are claiming that it is illegal.
“Some of us have presented our documents to them, but they did not give us audience. This is so frustrating,’’ he said.
Another victim, Mohammed Alhaji, whose house was demolished in Byazhin, broke down in tears when NAN correspondent approached him for an interview.
He said that his house was marked more than one year ago and he was assured of adequate compensation.
“I am not prepared for this exercise at all; they came to mark these structures more than one year ago.
“The claim is that we encroached on the road corridor, but when our chief intervened, they said they will construct the road and spare our houses.
“What has happened today is devastating and I do not know where to go from here with my family of one wife and six children,’’ he said.
The Chief of Byazhin, Ezekiel Suleiman, said that the issue of demolition had earlier been resolved with the department.
“When they came to mark these buildings about one year ago, we intervened and they halted the exercise.
“We were caught unawares by what they are doing, it is unfair to the residents, especially those who are not at home to salvage their property,’’ he said. (NAN)