The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has started demolishing more than 100 buildings built on waterways at Dutse Makaranta, a populated suburb in Bwari Area Council if the nation’s capital.
This is as a result of residents’ failure to heed all legal warnings regarding the valid devastating forecast on flooding disaster in Abuja.
The Administration said it could no longer wait for unwilling residents to comply with early warnings to save lives, after the destructive flooding that occurred in the community four days ago.
Comrade Ikharo Attah, Senior Special Assistant to FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, who led the demolition team to the community on Wednesday, stated that it would be extremely irresponsible for any administration to carry out the demolition.
He, however, expressed utmost disgust that occupiers and owners of the buildings on waterways in the community have deliberately refused to heed warnings, said the administration was welding the big stick to save lives, properties and environment.
He stated that it was an act of God that the heavy flooding that swept through the area four days did not leave any record of death, sparing the government of any careless social media backlash.
Attah explained that the owners and occupiers of the buildings on the waterways have been warned and asked to leave the area from the onset, but refused to comply, hence the forceful ejection.
He was particularly bittered that some of the doomed buildings were a private school, churches where innocent children, wards and worshipers would have been swept away, had the flooding occurred on working days or even during religious feast.
According to him: ” Today we are commencing a citywide operation against buildings sitting on water plains and riverbeds.Here in Dutse Makaranta, you could see heavy flooding, we thank God the rain fail on Sunday afternoon at about 1 and 2pm when many had left the church and school was closed. The water got to the window levels and members had fled. The casualties here would have been extremely massive.
” Most persons in this area where out, only two men who where on their beds . When the water came onebof the walls to one of the buildings fell on the bed of one man and the man fled his house and packed everything quickly.
” We hope that this will send a strong message to all those who have been on water plains and corridors.
” We thank God that we did not loose any life here. But we wonder how people will put their buildings without a building plan approval and now they are telling us to try and understand.
” FCTA has marked the buildings from Foundation level, they have been warned to leave that this is a disaster zone. They kept marking at window and roofing levels, warning them to leave that flooding was coming, but they never believed”, he added.
A resident of the Community, Ibrahim Shaibu confirmed that those affected by the demolition actually were aware that the area was prone to flooding, but ignored all warnings.
Shaibu who claimed he has lived in the community for about 20 years acknowledged that the flooding that occurred three days ago was unprecedented, but thanked God that no life was lost.
He claimed that the indigenous people should be blamed for whatever destruction the flooding has caused, as they have continued to resell the place after each demolition exercise.