Written by Austine ELEMUE

We pulled down 50 shanties, not 500 - Dev’t Control

The Federal Capital Territory Development Control Department has revealed that only 50 shanties in a squatter settlement along the Idu Train station route were pulled down in Paipei community, contrary to 500 being speculated in some quarters. 

Director of Development Control Department, Mr. Murtar Galadima, who stated while interacting with our correspondent stressed that the department carried a demolition exercise in the area, after three months of dialogue and sensitisation of affected residents. 

Galadima, was reacting to a section of the media, claiming that the department had pulled down about 500 structures in Paipei, thereby rendering thousands of residents homeless. 

According to him, due process was followed in removing the said structures, after they were properly identified and marked about three months ago. 

His words: "About three months ago, we visited the squatter settlement, where we agreed with the inhabitants that the structures would go, but they begged for more time to be extended. 

"But two weeks back, we noticed increased illegal development in the settlement, then we decided to mark them, adequately informing the people before we removed them. 

"Due process was followed in the removal of not more than 50 structures, not the purported 500 buildings. They were mainly shanties used for living and business in the place. All these constitute nuisance on the rail corridor. 

"We held a meeting with the hitherto inhabitants, and we all agreed that such structures will be demolished. This is because we normally give people time to vacate such structures, as we are trying to be humane in carrying out such exercises". 

He, however, warned that the Department has upped the dismantling of illegal structures and settlements within the city centre and satellite areas. 

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