Woman Sleeps Under Tree With Five Children After Demolition In Abuja

Residents of Utako village located opposite Nigeria Institute of Leather and Science Technology(NILEST) Abuja were left stranded after the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) task force demolished hundreds of illegal shanties within the area.

A resident who gave her name as Blessing Uwem was seen in the area with her five children when THE WHISTLER visited on Thursday.

She revealed to this website that she was forced to sleep in the open space under the tree with her five children because the demolition affected her house.

The Akwa-Ibom state born is one of dozens of residents affected by the demolition that took place at the village on Wednesday.

The woman said she and her kids slept under the tree till daybreak after her house was demolished.

Explaining her loss in tears, she said, “They came and demolished my house, I couldn’t remove anything even my children’s clothes. As I’m standing here, I have nowhere to go, no clothes, I don’t even have money to rent a house. I slept outside under the tree with my five children and husband because I don’t have anywhere to go.”

THE WHISTLER gathered that the stranded mother of five who disclosed that she makes a living from a food business at Wuse zone 4, pleaded that the government should compensate them because the economic situation of the country was tough.

She said, “They said N11 million was given to compensate the people that their houses were marked and affected by the demolition, but we didn’t see any money and as a family woman I have kids, I pay my children school fees and take care of them.

“For now no savings, we sell food for a living, no customers for now.

“Only for me to come back yesterday and see my house demolished with all my property. They claimed they paid us money to vacate but we didn’t see any money.”

Explaining the demolition exercise, the Director, Department of Development Control, Muktar Galadima, told journalists that it was a special operation to remove all illegal structures to make way for the original allottees to regain their land.

Non Indigenes Claim They Were Not Compensated:
Another resident, a widow, also confirmed that no money was given to them as compensation even though she heard that about N11 millon was released.

“It’s a lie, no one was compensated,” some Igbo women also affected were heard saying as they lamentedloss of their property.

They alleged that money was given only to the indigenes of the village.

Gabriel Emmanuel, who was present during the demolition on Tuesday told this paper that most of the people who built houses at the village were not indigenes.

Emmanuel noted that the land belonged to the Police, adding that the Police had already compensated the indigenes.

He stated further that the residents had been given due notice of demolition since July 2021, adding that it is wrong for non-indigenes to expect compensation.

THE WHISTLER had reported that many residents of Utako village openly wept on Tuesday after the FCTA ordered demolition of hundreds of illegal shanties within the area.

The situation worsened when the residents engaged in a fight with scavengers in order to rescue their properties.

It was a difficult experience for many residents who were faced with scavengers that ignored the presence of security operatives at the demolition site.

The scavengers were seen snatching different materials from the owners who were overwhelmed by the pains of the demolition.

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