Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello, has confirmed the demolition of a property belonging to the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, located within Abuja metropolis.
Acting through the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), the FCT Administration said it demolished the property because the structure contravened development control regulations.
Last week, AMMC officials moved their bulldozers into a sprawling property, A. Aruera Reachout Foundation/Women for Change Development Initiative, in Mabushi District, and demolished a multi-purpose hall under construction, along with structures behind the main building, for abuse of land use, adding it was a Green Area.
AMMC Co-ordinator, Umar Shuiabu, explained that the former first lady’s building in Mabushi and all the other structures removed by his agency in Wuse II were illegal.
“If they have approval, we would not have been there. Everyone must have approval before commencing any development in the FCT. When our officials go on inspection and discover that a structure is being put up, they would request to know whether there was approval, prior to commencement of the development or not.
“It is because of this that we give three sets of approval –one is to be on site, another should be with the owner and the other in our file at Development Control Department so that whenever we go for inspection and require Building Plan approval, it should be handy. Abuja is a planned city so, if we do not control the development in the city, we would not have met it the way it is today. Abuja is planned to be a garden city, meaning that there are some areas that we reserve for green development so we won’t allow desecration of whatever manner.
“If we have been leaving illegal developments within the city, this city would have been inhabitable for people. Abuja is the pride of the nation, so, we want to maintain a beautiful city for ourselves.”
Speaking on the ongoing clean-up exercise by the AMMC, Shuiabu explained: “When you get any allocation (land allocation) in Abuja, you have to apply it based on development control requirements. By the time you are given approval for a residential purpose and after the building, you convert it to commercial, it is not accepted by law, so, we require you to revert to the original planning.
“We have a situation where people are given plots for residential purpose, but they convert them into night clubs so much so that the neighbours are always complaining…”