By Salisu Sani-Idris
The Federal Capital Territory Administration ( FCTA), on Wednesday commenced the demolition of over 100 buildings constructed on waterways at Dutse Makaranta, a populated suburb in Bwari Area Council.
Mr Ikharo Attah, Senior Special Assistant to FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, who led the demolition team to the area, said the demolition became necessary following the failure to heed all legal warnings by residents over the valid devastating forecast on flooding disaster in Abuja,
Attah said it would be very irresponsible for any government to wait for residents who were not willing to obey extant directives.
He also said that the FCT Administration could no longer wait for unwilling residents to comply with early warnings to save lives, after the destructive flooding that occurred in the community four days ago.
Attah who expressed utmost disgust that occupiers and owners of the buildings on waterways in the community have deliberately refused to heed warnings, said the administration was welding the big stick to save lives, properties and environment.
He noted that it was an act of God that the heavy flooding that swept through the area four days did not leave any record of death, sparing the government of any careless social media backlash.
Attah explained that the owners and occupiers of the buildings on the waterways have been warned and asked to leave the area from the onset, but refused to comply, hence the forceful ejection.
He was particularly bittered that some of the doomed buildings were a private school, churches where innocent children, wards and worshipers would have been swept away, had the flooding occurred on working days or even during religious feast.
” Today we are commencing a citywide operation against buildings sitting on water plains and riverbeds.Here in Dutse Makaranta.
” You could see heavy flooding, we thank God the rain fail on Sunday afternoon at about 1 and 2pm when many had left the church and school was closed.
” The water got to the window levels and members had fled. The casualties here would have been extremely massive.
” Most persons in this area where out, only two men who where on their beds . When the water came one of the walls to one of the buildings fell on the bed of one man and the man fled his house and packed everything quickly.
” We hope that this will send a strong message to all those who have been on water plains and corridors.”
Attah said that the FCTA had marked the buildings from foundation level and they have been warned to leave the area because it is a disaster zone.
Reacting, a resident of the community, Ibrahim Shaibu confirmed that those affected by the demolition actually were aware that the area was prone to flooding, but ignored all warnings.
Shaibu who claimed he has lived in the community for about 20 years acknowledged that the flooding that occurred four days ago was unprecedented, but thanked God that no life was lost.
He claimed that the indigenous people should be blamed for whatever destruction the flooding has caused, as they have continued to resell the place after each demolition exercise. (NAN)