We have no option but resume demolition of illegal structures —AMMC

The Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), said it has no option than to resume demolition of structures that contravened development guidelines in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), through its Development Control Department, after owners of such structures failed to utilise government’s offer for self removal.

The  FCT Minister, Musa Bello, had directed that owners of illegal structures in Abuja be given  enough time to remove the structures  as a way to inject human face into the demolition exercise.

However,  the deputy director, Information and Head of AMMC Public Relations, Mrs Grace Zamani, said  at  the weekend that some owners of the structures took the gesture for granted.

“The problem is, we have sadly observed that, overtime, people do not heed to such government directives any longer, probably because we now give them  enough  time in order not to be seen not to have a human face. They tend to take us for granted,” she said.

She recalled that the council, in collaboration with the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and other relevant agencies had, in the past four months, embarked on massive sensitisation campaign, meeting owners of the illegal structures and slums as  well as urging them to remove such structures as they seriously defaced the city.

The director warned that the current FCT administration was poised to deal with violations to the Abuja master plan, remove and prevent emergence of slums, as well as halt building on sewer lines, green area and other areas of public interest.

The AMMC spokesperson advised anyone who wished to develop any structure in the FCT to  visit  AMMC office at No 2, Juba Street, Zone 6, Wuse,Abuja and find out from the authorities on  what  to do so as not to contravene the regulations .

“In order to continue to restore order in our capital city of pride and maintain the sanctity of the Abuja master  plan, it is imperative that, from time to time, we  embark on removal of structures that    hinder development guidelines

“No doubt ,we got good response from majority of the residents, who promised to carry out the removal  before the two-week ultimatum which expired more than two months ago.

“Still, we had to go out for a reminder by marking most of the structures with demolition notices. But some remained adamant.

“Abuja is one of the few African cities that have been well planned before commencement of development. And if  the removal of illegal structures were not done from time to time, we will definitely have a repeat of Lagos, thereby defeating the aim of relocating the Nigeria’s capital to Abuja .

“Immediately after the  minister made the statement that he would stop at nothing to restore the Abuja master plan, we commenced sensitisation and marking; so, when people claim ignorance of the exercise, it is not fair to us and they are being economical with the truth.”