Nyesom Wike, the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has given the order to demolish shanties making up a scavenger colony located on the proposed transitway corridor along Mabushi and Katampe Districts of Abuja. He ordered that the area should be cleared.
Security operatives and relevant FCT city managers have started the process of massive clearance, affecting scavengers, mechanics, and furniture makers, otherwise known as ‘Baban Bolas’.
During a visit to the site on Tuesday, Wike described the place as an eyesore where people commit crimes and run into to take refuge. He stressed the importance of reducing the level of crime and ordered the immediate clearance of the area without any notice.
“We will do anything possible to see we reduce the level of crime and we will not allow these people to continue, because this is an eyesore, so make sure you clear this immediately.
“It is most unfortunate what we are seeing, so there is no notice as you must chase them out now, and clear the entire place,” he said.
Mukhtar Galadima, the Coordinator of the FCT city management joint task team, speaking to newsmen, disclosed that the hitherto encroached area consists of a proposed dual mode of transportation – the bus and tramo line, transversing the city across almost all the Districts. He lamented that a swathe of the road network straddling Mabushi and Katampe Districts had been converted into a scavenger colony.
Galadima downplayed the suggestion of compensation for the economic trees, saying that security is a national issue of importance and everybody’s business. Therefore, they are not considering the issue of compensation at this time. Their primary goal is to secure the land and the people, which is why they are moving in at the right time.
After the clearance, the FCDA should come in and ensure the road corridor is kept clear to become a temporary access road. This way, nobody can settle there again, as the area is of national importance and security is a priority. The exercise involves demolition, clearance, and evacuation, and it is the mother of all exercises.