Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, has slammed the Federal Capital Territory Administration led by the FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello, over the demolition of allegedly approved structures.
The group condemned the practice of throwing the poor outside the streets with no option of resettlement or some forms of compensation to help them obtain alternative places of residence.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko on Tuesday, said it understands that the government is obliged to prevent environmental issues like floods caused by the undue blockage of water channels by unscrupulous house developers.
It, however, faulted the government for taking people’s roofs from their heads, without the provision of alternatives.
The group also said it was saddening that some of the buildings demolished by the FCTA were done for alleged political reasons.
The FCTA had recently demolished a building belonging to Kpokpogri, an ex-lover to actress Tonto Dikeh, at Guzape in Abuja. Kpokpogri had said the structure is worth over N700m while the FCTA said Kpokpogri’s house was built on a major highway, hence the demolition.
But HURIWA said, “The demolition might not be unconnected to political persecution as alleged by the victim (Kpokpogri). Incidentally, his estranged girlfriend Ms Dikeh has since taken to social media to mock her ex-lover over his loss for what she considers to be karma at work.
“It is also on record that Dikeh, in October 2021, allegedly used her connection to the late Deputy Inspector General of Police, Joseph Egbunike, to settle scores with Kpokpogri at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja. The then DIG and Tonto herself denied these allegations as unsubstantiated but Kpokpogri said a government official had begged him to sell the house but he refused. This needs to be investigated.
“Aside from the demolition of Kpokpogri’s house, the FCTA also recently demolished over 300 structures in a densely populated Bassa-Jiwa village, near the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
“Most of the affected structures were residential buildings, shanties, and kiosks. This particular exercise lawful as it is could have been carried with a little human feelings such as providing alternatives to these unfortunate and less privileged Nigerians.
“The consequences on human habitation in Abuja and of course the possibility that it will shoot up the cost of living in the FCT is so appalling.”