Flooding: Protest mars FCDA’s move to demolish houses in Trademore Estate

Residents of Trademore Estate in the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), Abuja, yesterday, staged a peaceful protest against a move by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to demolish over 2,000 houses in the estate.

The planned demolition followed last week’s flood that swept across 100 houses in the estate.

During the planned exercise, which had a heavy presence of policemen and officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the residents claimed that the proposed demolition was politically motivated.

The peaceful protesters, who walked through the Musa Yar’Adua Expressway to drive home their displeasure, said the estate was not a disaster zone.
Carrying placards with various inscriptions, the protesters said the solution to the flood issue is for the authorities to address the root cause of the flood, which usually emanates from Lokogoma and other surrounding estates into the passing river at Trademore, leading to flooding in the area.

Some of the placards read: “Provide engineering solutions not roadside approach”, “Trademore Estate is not a disaster zone”, “Take responsibility for the job you are paid to do”, “Federal Mortgage Bank can’t refinance illegality” and “Put an end to lazy thinking”.’

They lamented that they purchased houses in the Estate through the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and should not be made victims of illegality by a government agency.

According to the residents, the estate was built in 2007 when, Abuja Municipal Area Council, (AMAC), was in charge of land allocation and that the estate got the necessary allocation papers and approval from AMAC accordingly.

“When the FCTA took over, all land allottees were requested to come for recertification, which the developer did at the time,” they added.

Speaking, a resident, Fred Henry, said: “Let the government do their part by creating a proper channel for the water instead of declaring it a disaster zone so that they can come and demolish our homes.

“This water is not being generated here in Trademore, it is coming from Lokogoma up to the Pyakasa area.
“They need to go there and check why the water from Lokogoma and even the one from Voice of Nigeria office area are being channelled here.”

Henry, who is an engineer, said the water need to be redirected to avert the flood.
“We can do a give and take, the government can call their surveyors to do a forensic analysis and if there are some buildings that will go, we can come to an understanding with them, especially on the low sides. It is something that they can consider doing drainages on both sides to avert such floods,” he added.

Another resident, simply identified as Mrs. Mary, said instead of looking into lasting solutions without further hurting the already demoralised residents, the government is instead thinking of demolishing people’s houses.

“Even after demolishing the houses, the land will just be left fallow before eventually being allocated to some big shots. You can see that this is all being politicised,” she added.

Meanwhile, the demolition could not take place as planned.

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