In a decisive move, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, has issued a one-week ultimatum to squatters and owners of make-shift settlements in Abuja, demanding their immediate departure or face demolition.
Represented by the Joint Task Force of the Federal Capital Territory Administration and Director of Development Control, Mukhtar Galadima, the minister emphasized that credible intelligence reports had been received, highlighting the alarming rise in criminal activities, particularly robberies, within these unauthorized settlements.
During a visit to Apo Dutse, Galadima witnessed the re-emergence of squatters despite previous demolition exercises conducted by past administrations. Galadima clarified that the area had been designated for residential purposes, and the task force was committed to clearing the land for rightful owners to reclaim and develop their plots accordingly. He sternly urged illegal squatters to respect the authority of the constituted government.
Galadima said, “We have received credible intelligence regarding the challenges posed by these settlements. You may recall that this area was previously cleared, only to be reoccupied. Today, we are engaging with the residents, discussing the planned course of action before proceeding with the demolition. We anticipate conducting the exercise harmoniously next week.”
Dr. Peter Olumiji, Secretary of Command and Control in the FCTA, added that the task force had been receiving reports of criminal attacks within the district, specifically targeting an estate in the area. He affirmed that once the illegal settlement is eradicated, it will contribute significantly to reducing the crime rate within the district.
Olumiji also clarified that the task force has allowed residents a reasonable period to gather their belongings, but after the expiration of the ultimatum, enforcement actions will be initiated to ensure compliance