On Monday, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) demolished houses and structures believed to have been constructed illegally in Gishiri, Katampe District.
Accompanied by joint security personnel, FCTA’s Development Control Department officials utilized two bulldozers to carry out the demolition.
Samson Atureta, FCTA District Monitor for Katampe and Mabushi, led the operation and stated that the action was part of ongoing efforts to reclaim land encroached upon by illegal occupants.
According to Atureta, a town planner, the unauthorized occupants had erected buildings on plots designated for residential, commercial, educational, and religious purposes.
He mentioned that the demolition process had commenced two months prior and that this was the fourth visit to remove illegal structures and extensions in the community.
Atureta affirmed, “There are numerous illegal developments and extensions in the Gishiri community. We are clearing them to allow the rightful owners to take possession of their plots. We are ensuring the removal of these unauthorized buildings and extensions. So far, over 100 illegal structures have been removed in the area.”
He assured residents that the homes of indigenous people and those with legal documentation would not be affected.
Atureta explained that the owners of the affected structures had been duly notified before the demolition. A final notice was issued a week ago, requesting occupants to remove their belongings and vacate the premises.
One displaced resident, Mama Blessing, said they were not given enough time to evacuate.
While acknowledging that the demolition was taking place on government land, Mama Blessing, who owns a drinking joint, appealed to the FCT Administration to provide an alternative location for them to reside.
“We understand that the demolition exercise is necessary because it is government land, but it is truly distressing to have our houses and structures demolished without any provision for an alternative place,” she said.