Director, Department of Development Control FCTA, TPL Mukhtar Galadima (2nd right) briefing the FCT Minister, Barrister Nyesom Wike (right) during the Minister’s unscheduled visit to a scavengers colony in Mabushi Abuja on Tuesday
By Ignatius Ushie
As part of efforts to ensure city sanitation and rid the nation’s capital of crime and criminality, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, has ordered the immediate removal of the Scavengers’ Colony along the road corridor cutting across Mabushi, Jahi and Kado Districts known officially as road N12 in Mabushi District of the FCT.
In a statement made available Transport Day in Abuja, the Minister who gave the order on Tuesday when he paid an unscheduled visit to the area with senior officials of the FCT Administration said the exercise should commence immediately without further notice to the scavengers popularly known as “babanbola”.
The Minister described the scavengers’ colony located behind the location known as the Minister’s Quarters in Mabushi District as a threat to the security of the city.
He said such den of criminals would not be allowed in the FCT, noting that the colony was also encouraged by the thick canopy of cashew trees planted by the indigenous people of the FCT for speculative purposes.
The Minister warned against planting such trees in areas where the government has mapped out for development. He said the Government would not pay compensation for the trees and ordered the Development Control Department and the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to clear the entire area and take a scope of the road for preliminary works.
According to him, “We cannot complete the entire road but let it be that something has started and we tried to evacuate this place. You should not compensate them. This is a hideout of criminals. And communities should stop this (planting trees). When they see that government intends to develop the road, they come and plant crops for government to pay compensation. We are not going to do any compensation.”
Adding that “The Development Control must clear this area, chase out all these criminals. These are the kind of things you see that people commit crimes and then before you know it, they run down here for cover and people will be saying oh, FCT is not safe. I think we will do everything possible we can to reduce the level of crime and we will not allow the people to continue to be here.
“So, make sure you clear this immediately. Clear it today and then I will tell the FCDA to come and take the scope of whatever length they can start before the construction. It’s most unfortunate what we are seeing. I don’t think we will allow that. It’s not a question of giving them notice. There is no notice. You must chase them out now and clear the entire area.”
Speaking to Journalists shortly after the Minister’s visit, the Director, FCT Development Control Department, Town Planner Mukhtar Galadima, explained that the area is a proposed transit way for a road network that traverses the city across almost all the districts.
He said, “This location is a kind of scavengers’ colony situated within the proposed transit way corridor between Mabushi and Katampe District. So, looking at the situation now, due to the security challenges all over the country, this present use of this area is not conducive.” he said.