STOP DEMOLITION OF HOUSES IN ABUJA
STOP DEMOLITION OF HOUSES IN ABUJA
- Govt Should Pay Adequate Compensation and Build Mass, Decent and Affordable Houses
By Dimeji Macaulay, Secretary, SPN, FCT Chapter
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Chapter condemn in strong terms the continued demolition of houses, attachÃ© and garden by the Abuja Development Plan, an agency under the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
It leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the affected person for the federal government to demolish houses built with hard earned money. More pathetic is the fact that this demolition exercise by Buhari-led federal government was carried out within just 24 hours’ notice and with no alternative accommodation for the victims.
Many owners of houses and shops were shocked to receive quite notice that their houses or shops would be demolished in the next 24 hours for reasons not well described to them, but generally tagged as illegal erection of houses, shops and attachments. This attack on the poor is adding insult to the existing injury. Many of the shop owners are poor people trying to engage in one economic activity or the other to make both ends meet. This attack will leave many of the affected people jobless, hereby compounding an already bad economic condition of the poor and the working class. It is not only a fact that over 70% of Nigerians live on less than 1 dollar per day, the country is in recession that has had devastating economic consequences on the vast majority.
For instance a big garden called REDSPARROW Event Centre in Maitama was demolished; this is a garden that was just completed less than two years ago with about fifty staff. Similarly, this callous demolition includes many houses around Wuse 2 in Abuja, as many other houses and shops also being marked for demolition for reasons not know yet by many of the affected persons. However, what we gathered was that some of the owners of the houses and shops demolished were told that the houses and shops built are not in accordance with what is on the building plan.
The FCT authorities are largely to be blamed because they failed to follow up on the builders to ensure that they comply with building plan, apparently after money has changed hands officially and unofficially. More fundamentally, the fact is that the FCT authorities and government at all levels have failed to lead and give direction on how to move the economy of the nation forward and surrendering to the profit-first private sector that lacks the capacity to build decent and affordable houses for the working masses.
We in the SPN are opposed to this attack because it will increase the already high level of unemployment and cause more social-economic dislocation; thousands will be losing their job, means of livelihood and assets as fallout of this ugly development.
It is our contention that the federal government through its elitist policies wants to turn the Federal Capital Territory into a place that only the rich and cohorts of ruling class can leave.
We demand an end to the ongoing demolition and adequate compensation to be paid to the owners of the affected houses, shops and attachments so far demolished. We shall support all actions to resist this attack including political and legal battle.
We call on all the affected persons to form a coalition and resist further demolition and demand payment of adequate compensation. We call on the organized trade unions to lead these affected people to end this attack and get justice. .