Houses worth millions of naira were recently pulled down at some parts of Peace Village, a shanty settlement within the Federal Housing area of Lugbe, Abuja.
The structures affected were those either too close to power transmission lines or obstructing the lines and major access roads.
Residents told our reporter at the site that the development control department of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) carried out the exercise without adequate information thereby exposing their properties to theft by hoodlums.
“I was at work when a neighbour called to tell me that my house had been demolished. By the time I rushed down, I could not find most of my valuables,” said Mr. Jude Efosa, whose house was affected.
Another victim, Mohammed Umar, said he and some neighbours heard rumours of the imminent demolition after the popular Timber Shed, within the area, was demolished.
“I think it was not carried out with a human face because this is the rainy season. It was just too sudden and at a time it has been raining continuously. I am out with my family in the rain,” Umar said.
The Development Control director, Malam Muktar Galadima, did not respond when contacted on phone for comment.
He had in February this year, however told our reporter that all the shanties built directly under the high tension wire in Tudun Wada, Peace Village, and on either side of the electricity facility would be demolished.
He said properties that breached the legally permitted 30 metre-proximity to the high tension facility would be removed to pave way for the commencement of work by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
He explained that while his office had severally warned the residents, it had become imperative to quickly carry out the demolition exercise due to a request from the Federal Ministry of Power for the FCTA to clear the area for it to commence construction of a 330/132/33kV substation in Lugbe. Daily Trust