Federal Housing Authority has refuted reports that it was planning to demolish 1,500 houses in the Zhidu community, near Lugbe Phase II, in the Federal Capital Territory.
That residents in the community had alleged that the FHA planned to demolish their houses to accommodate a housing estate to be built by a private developer.
They also called on the FHA to halt the plans and engage in fair negotiations for compensation and resettlement.
According to the residents, FHA’s decision “blatantly violates constitutional rights, disregards their welfare as citizens, and tarnishes Nigeria’s global reputation.”
But the Head of Press and Publicity Unit, FHA, Kenneth Chigelu, in a statement made available to newsman recently, said it was not responsible for the planned demolition.
“The authority wants to correct the wrong impression created by some land grabbers, who have consistently misled some innocent Nigerians by extorting money from them through the sale of government land.
“Federal Housing Authority acquired a parcel of land from the Federal Capital Territory Administration for housing development and went on to carry out enumeration exercise and subsequently paid compensation to the farmers.
“In the course of carrying out pre–development exercises, it was discovered that some squatters have encroached on some portions of the land belonging to the authority.”
According to Chigelu, the illegal development happens to be at the right of way of Ring Road which services the entire area.
“Consequently, eight months ago, FHA and FCDA embarked on the identification of all the developments that fell within FHA’S land and the ring road three (for removal) to pave the way for the development of the land,” he added.
Chigelu stated that the authority had called on all persons laying genuine claims to the land to come forward with proof of ownership and approval to build, for documentation.
“It is, therefore, surprising that some persons would come up with outlandish claims that the Federal Housing Authority is planning to demolish the entire Zhidu community, giving them only two weeks’ notice.
“The authority would not be distracted or deterred by the ambush tactics of the acclaimed leaders of the community; FHA would never accommodate any slum development within any of its estates.
“We reiterate that persons with genuine claims to any portion of land in the said community that fell within FHA’s parcel of land should come forward with all relevant documents and approval to develop for documentation,” he asserted.
The latest development comes two months after the FHA demolished 677 houses and partially demolished 774 houses in Festac Town in Lagos.
Damilola Aina A business, investment, infrastructure and property correspondent currently with The PUNCH, Damilola Aina is a media professional with over three years experience
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