The Federal Capital Territory Department of Development Control on Friday demolished Mountain Village in Guzape District in Abuja.
ROYAL NEWS gathered that the settlement is situated behind Dantata Construction Company and close to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad Headquarters in the city centre.
The acting director in the agency, Muktar Galadima, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the demolition was in the best interest of the illegal settlers.
He said that the inhabitants of the settlement were notified severally before the demolition.
“If I can recall vividly, since November 2016 we visited this community; we sensitised them; we marked their structures; even two weeks ago we came back to sensitise them that we were coming.
“We told them to remove their valuables because the current administration emphasises that people must be carried along in whatever activities we are doing.
“We gave them enough time since November 2016. We have the records and the pictures; so, it’s wrong to say that they were not aware,’’ he said.
Galadima noted that there were 135 structures in the area, adding that the department would continue to maintain the city’s master plan.
“Fundamentally, there are two or more reasons why we had to embark on this exercise. One, for the safety of the people here and two, for the security.
“For their safety, we have to play a role and for security reason, which is a national issue, we have to play a role and that is what we are doing,’’ he added.
He advised people that there were other settlements such as Kubwa, Kuje, Bwari and others, where people could live.
“Yes, we agreed that there are difficulties, there are painful situations but this kind of place is not a place for them to live.
“Many of us are living in places like Kubwa and others; we just come to town to work.
“There are enough places that can take care of every Nigerian in Abuja, FCT,’’ he added.
Galadima said but for those who insisted that “they want to live on the corridor of the capital city, it is not just possible, let us go to where our resources can afford.’’
A landlord at the settlement, Mr. Thomas Abel, admitted that the agency had notified the residents of the demolition since 2016.
“They gave us three or two months, after the two months they came yesterday and started demolishing the area,” he said.