Residents of Dakibiu, a suburb within the Jabi area of Abuja, have been thrown into panic by the ongoing demolition of the community by the authorities.
PREMIUM TIMES’ reporters, who visited the village, tucked in between Utako market and airport junction, saw several houses marked “demolition” and “removed” in the community.
Many residents, whose houses were marked, are currently removing their properties. Even zincs and other structures in the houses are being removed.
People could be seen standing in clusters, waiting to see when the bulldozers will be pulled in to start pulling down structures.
They also thronged the palace of the community chief with the hope that he will help beg the government to reconsider their plan.
Scores of policemen were also in place to restore calm in the event of an uprising.
Residents said they were not even given prompt notice before the said demolition.
“They only came and marked houses on Monday and today (Wednesday), they are coming to demolish,” said Amos Abbas, a dry cleaner, who has a house and shop that were marked for demolition.
Many of the residents, while counting their losses, also questioned why the government would go ahead with the destruction of houses considering the economic impact of the COVID-19 on especially the low class.
PREMIUM TIMES cannot immediately confirm from Abuja authorities the reason behind the planned demolition.
The contact of Muktar Galadimawa, the developmental director of the Federal Capital Development Agency (FCDA), was switched off as at press time.
Efforts to speak with the Dakibiu chief were unyielding as he was busy attending to people in his palace.
Dakibiu is considered an illegal settlement by authorities in Abuja. It is being occupied by both Gwagi indigenes and other Nigerians.
Before now, it mainly dotted with makeshift houses and shanties but more recently, good structures are now built in the area.
There has been an ongoing demolition in some places that were marked by the government as holding illegal structures within the Abuja metropolis.
Demolition occurred in some parts of Utako village in the past week.
More details later…