Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Encroachment: Aliyu vows to reclaim pilgrims’ board land

FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, has promised to reclaim a parcel of land allocated to FCT Muslims Pilgrim Welfare Board, MPWB, encroached upon by other developers in Gwagwalada Area Council of the territory.

The minister who gave the assurance when the Director, Malam Mohammed Danmallam and other management staff of the Board took her round the disputed areas, also described the encroachment as lawlessness and unacceptable by the administration.

Aliyu revealed that the essence of citing the pilgrims’ board in Gwagwalada was to decongest the city centre, in order to bring development to the satellite towns, and to also encourage other activities in rural communities as enshrined in the Abuja Master Plan.

"When did this place become residential? All these property must be pulled down and that is the truth. This is the peak of lawlessness and it's not acceptable.

"This property is for the Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board and the Hajj Camp, hopefully the 2020 hajj operations will take place here, this is disheartening.

"But unfortunately, this might have be done on the assumption that the MPWB is already in the town and will not be using here again. But this is grossly unacceptable, because the essence of putting the Pilgrims board here is also to decongest the city centre, in order to bring development to the satellite towns, and to also encourage other activities.

"And this intends to maintain the Abuja Master Plan of the Federal Capital Territory. So whatever encroachment we have here will be taken out. This is very clear. It's unfortunate that this has happened. But these culprits must be brought to book", Aliyu vowed.

Also speaking on the fate of some economic trees planted by some indigenous people, the minister stated that no compensation will be paid by removing those trees, stressing that such people will be made to pay for their lawlessness.

According to her, "They are causing us so much to uproot or remove all these nonsense they did here, so there is nothing like compensation. In fact, with whose permit they went upon the land to plant? It's unacceptable, and lawlessness must just stop in the Federal Capital Territory.

"Everybody sees any land, and just moves in to construct or plant something, and the next thing they are asking for is compensation. That has become the order of the day, and a means of livelihood. In fact, they should be made to pay for damages. With this, I think lawlessness will stop in FCT. Land belongs to federal government and it belongs also to FCT Administration, and you must keep off".

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