August 20, 2012 by Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Muhammed, has defended the ministry’s decision to demolish some buildings in parts of the FCT.
About 10,288 houses are said to have been marked for demolition in Mpape, an Abuja satellite town, by the Federal Government.
Other settlements along the Airport Road, including Lugbe, are also included in the exercise.
Muhammed told State House correspondents after Muslim the community Sallah homage to President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, on Sunday, that the government decided to destroy the structures to rid the capital of undesirable elements.
He said, “What we are doing is to secure the nation, to secure the capital and to secure the residents, including us. And we are highly pained.”
The minister said the government was aware of the pain the demolition would cause the owners, promising that they would not be abandoned.
He said, “The demolition and other social services we are carrying out as an administration is not something that we like to do but it is something that we have to do with a lot of pains.
“But I assure them that we are coming up with social housing that will accommodate the needs and aspirations of every Nigerian, especially those affected by the demolition.
“We will carry out an exercise where they will be registered, where we will be able to provide them with affordable housing and in a place where they will like.”
The lawmaker representing the FCT in the National Assembly, Philip Aduda, said the Senate had refrained from intervening in the demolition because “the case is subjudice”.
He said, “It is not true that we (National Assembly) have abandoned them. The issue is that we are discussing. We have discussed with the minister, we have discussed with the President and we are coming up with palliatives.
“People need to understand that the matter is in court, and as legislators, if matters are in court we are restrained from going into such matters and that is why you find out that the various committees that we have did not go fully into it.”
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