By Ukpono Ukpong
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), yesterday demolished no fewer than 2,000 illegal structures including shanties shops in Karsana, Gwarinpa district.
Frustrated by the demolition exercise, hoodlums numbering in hundreds who are believed to be using the shanties as their haven trooped out to unleash violence on the residents of the area, snatching bags, phones and other valuables.
According to an eyewitness who pleaded anonymity, a Police officer who tried rescuing a lady whose phone was snatched was almost mopped by the hoodlums, but for the prompt response by the FCT Ministerial Task Force on City Sanitation.
Briefing journalists at the end of the exercise, the Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to FCT Minister, Ikharo Attah, condemned what he described as post demolition attacks by hoodlums in the area.
He said that at least, five hoodlums were arrested and illegal drugs were also seized from the hoodlums during the exercise.
“This is what we always describe as post demolition criminality in shanties and criminal hideouts. Criminals had come out with daggers and other dangerous weapons. They robbed road users of their handsets, bags and other belongings. We had to go back to rescue a particular lady whose phone was snatched and we were able to recover it and hand it over to her, DailyTimesNGR gathered.
“Two persons were arrested and have been handed over to Gwarinpa Police station. The Policeman saw the woman being attacked so he tried rescuing her and he was also robbed and we went back to get the two phones.”
On houses that were left untouched, he said, “The houses that were left untouched were the ancient Fulani that was leaving in Abuja before its establishment. We have reached out to the Department of Resettlement and they said, they have the right of being resettled”.
Secretary of FCTA Command and Control Unit, Peter Olumuji, revealed that three persons were earlier arrested, for possession of drugs.
“Part of what we have come here to do is to remove shanties and ‘bacthers’, because of criminal elements who operate from here. What they do is, they operate in Gwarinpa environs and then come to hibernate here. What we have done is to dislodge them. We have some drugs recovered today and we also have some arrested. About three were arrested”, he said.
One of the victims, Iyam, said he has been leaving in the area for over 30 years, and said it was the Gbagyi that sold the land to them.
He lamented that he is as much Nigerians as the Gbayis and appeal to the administration to consider other non-indigenous people.