The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has demolished over 30 houses which it described as illegal at Trademore Estate, Lugbe, in an attempt to prevent incessant flooding in the area.
Mr Ikharo Attah, the Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to FCT Minister, who led the operation under the auspices of the FCT Ministerial Taskforce Team, revealed that over 100 illegal houses would be affected.
“This is an ongoing removal of illegal structures on the flood plain at the Trademore Estate, Lugbe, along Airport Road. This estate has been a theatre of flooding, very intensive flooding here and we have been engaging them for years.
“And they have come to terms that this area is very dangerous to their lives and the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has asked us to remove all illegal structures on the flood plain.
“There has been excessive development on the flood plain in Trademore Estate, Lugbe, by some persons and these is very worrisome. All the houses that are going down were marked and some have been marked three years ago,” he said.
Attah explained that some of the affected structures were marked at foundation, window and roofing levels, adding that the final marking was about four days ago.
He added: “And we gave them 48 hours and even gave them additional 24 hours. For now, 30 houses are going but over 100 were marked, but we are still engaging critical stakeholders around there.
”After removing the first 30 houses, we will engage them to look at how we can use land solution act to find solution.
“Like what some of them are saying that the Developer of Trademore Estate should be charged to court , they have the locus standi to take him to court.”
The minister’s aide reiterated that the FCT Administration would not compensate anyone because there was no building plan, no approval, no allocation on the flood plain.
“We are not going to give any compensation because there was no building approval,” he sated.
Reacting to the development, Sadat Bankole, who has been living in the area for over 10 years, said if the demolition would save and prevent further loss of lives, then she was in support.
“What has been happening here is not palatable. Why is flooding constant in this area in the last few years? My view is that if people’s lives are involved then demolition should take place so that the place would be free from flooding.
“My first experience of flooding here was about seven years ago and then it stopped, but in the last three years there has been constant flooding every time it rains. When the rain starts you cannot come out and you cannot come in,” she said.
She called for the prosecution of the developer of Trademore Estate, for flood diversion, alleging that there was a diversion of the flood plain.
She said, “I was informed where the developer built houses are the routes of the water and the water was diverted.
“The person who diverted the flow of water should be asked questions and be sanctioned. The developer must be asked questions, why is the developer walking free.
“He should be prosecuted. There was a time I had to sleep outside. The bridge was just constructed.”
Also, Mr Ike Emmanuel, a resident in the area, urged the government to force the developer to accept responsibility for loss of lives and selling the flood plain to Nigerians.
By Salisu Sani-Idris