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FCTA, Alungu community clash over demolition

There was tension last week in Alungu-Lungu Community located around Karfe District in Gwarinpa Housing Estate when officials of the Department of Development Control of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) went to carry out a demolition exercise in the community.

Trouble started as soon as the long cue of vehicles of officials of the Department of Development Control and security agencies arrived the community.

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Youths in the area immediately attacked the team with weapons like bows and arrows, knives and stones.

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It was gathered that the people had earlier gotten the hint that the demolition exercise would hold in the community after which they got ready for the arrival of the FCTA team.

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Eight policemen who were in the FCT team were injured in the process of saving the heavy duty tractor which was seized and destroyed by the angry youths.

Speaking on the matter, a senior official who led the demolition exercise, Mr. Tom Edward, told Daily Trust that a Plot 64 Karfe District was before now designated for a mass housing estate and that it measured 166,237 square meters.

He said the land was allocated to one Holyfield Furniture Limited after which Sunshine Properties Limited was commissioned to develop the estate which had been encroached by the Alungu-Lungu Community.

Mr. Tom said documents also made available to Development Control by the complainants had indicated that compensation amounting to N17m was duly paid to the indigenes by the developer in 2010, but that the indigenes took the developer to court after which the matter was dismissed in favour of the complainant, and that based on that, notices were served to the community to vacate the plot which they did not adhere to.

“Last week, the enforcement team made up of staff of Development Control, supported by Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and civil defence, mobilised to the village to conduct the removal of structures, and on arrival, some of the villagers, including women and youths, mobilised with dangerous weapons of all sorts and attacked the team, inflicting injuries on about 10 officers, and also vandalised the heavy duty machine which was seized and still yet to be evacuated from the area as they also destroyed the engine by applying salt inside,” he said.

The immediate past Coordinator of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Umar Shaibu, said the incident was unfortunate, adding that the Alungu- Lungu Community, through the village chief, would be made to repair the vandalised machine, and that the perpetrators would not go unpunished.

He said the aborted exercise would resume in due course adding that the culture of attacking officials on lawful duties would not be tolerated.

 

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