It was all tears as the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Abuja moved in bulldozers to Mbape community on Wednesday, to demolish over 2,000 roadside shanties, containers, and other illegal buildings.
The shanties are believed to obstruct the free flow of traffic and served as a hideout for criminals to penetrate crimes within the neighborhood in the FCT, Abuja.
Coming after serving three months notice to the owners of the illegal structures that included religious houses, schools and makeshift shops, the FCTA team that arrived in the community as early as 10 a.m. with bulldozers swung into action by demolishing all the illegal constructions along the road corridors.
It would be recalled that the Mbape community had over time suffered multiple demolitions since 2014.
This is as residents and landlords have made passionate appeals to the Minister to save them from the traffic gridlock that had made life unbearable in the area.
Comrade Ikharo Attah, the Chairman of the FCT Ministerial Committee on City Sanitation, explained that Mpape Residents and Landlords Association had pleaded with the Minister six months ago to intervene over unlawful commercial activities that had taken over the road corridors.
“Residents and landlords who came to FCTA to facilitate Mpape demolition have asked the Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, to come and clear the road corridors.
“So what we’re doing is in response to people’s requests for road corridors to be recovered so that people may travel about easily.
“We have responded to the people’s cries as a responsible government. We gave them plenty of notice, but many of them were still basking in the excitement of Mpape being cleared.
“Because of the expanded road, people can now breathe in the fresh air,” said one resident who has lived in Mpape for more than 20 years.
Many of the demolished shanties and illegal constructions, the Secretary Command and Control Center, FCTA, Peter Olumuji said were occupied by criminal groups.
“Because there are so many shanties in Mpape, reports have shown that criminal activities have increased with time,” Olumuji said.
“This area of Mpape has the biggest concentration of criminal elements and a significant volume of criminal activities, which people have complained about.
“What the FCTA is doing here today is ensuring that the city’s security duty is fulfilled.”