Following a request from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has ordered the demolition of 200 houses in Nuwalege community, close to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja, to make way for the Presidential Fleet.
Director, Department of Development Control, Mukhtar Galadima, disclosed this on Tuesday during a community and citizens’ engagement in the community.
He said; “About a month ago, the authority of the Nigerian Air Force wrote to the honourable minister on their needs and desire to remove this village because it is part of the presidential fleet plots.
“So, the minister, in his wisdom, requested that they allow the FCT Administration to handle it, because it is the responsibility of the FCT Administration. The Nigerian Air Force approached the Department of Development Control on their desire, and as part of our responsibility, we have to do what you call a community and citizens’ engagement, which is why we are here today to discuss with the community and to tell them of our intention, because it will be unfair to just bring the machine here and start removing their houses.
“So, we visited the chief at his palace to meet him, and we told him our reason for coming to this place today.”
On the number of houses that will be demolished, Galadima hinted that about 150 to 200 houses with additional commercial stores that are attached to them would be affected.
Speaking on the issue of compensation, he said, “We will discuss with the Air Force, because obviously, discussions behind the scenes indicate that some form of compensation were paid, but we have to be certain that these compensations were paid, and to who?
“We are going to conduct further investigations between the FCT Administration, that is, the Department of Resettlement and Compensation, as well as the Nigerian Air Force, and find out if compensation has been paid, to whom, and when?
“Then we will discuss with our colleague at the Department of Resettlement and Compensation whether, at any point in time, there was any compensation that ascertained their claims as regards to the number of structures and people that are going to be affected by this expansion project.
“We have to do some community engagement. It is not the entire community because we have gone around and seen the areas affected by the presidential fleet plot and the areas that are outside that plot.
“We have discussed and informed the chief why we are here and we are coming back again for a wider consultation, involving the Nigerian Air Force, our colleagues, and then the community heads. So I think we have done the needful by engaging them adequately,” he added.
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