Some victims of Wednesday’s demolition in Gishiri, a slum contiguous to Abuja’s highbrow Maitama and Katampe Districts have asked the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, to hasten its efforts at pulling down other illegal structures in the area in order to reduce the wave of insecurity in the territory.
At least two of the victims who spoke in confidence explained that unless something was done about the notorious “Casablanca” area of the slum, the city would continue to witness attacks form hoodlums.
Speaking under condition of anonymity, one of the victims who hails from one of the States in North Central Nigeria, averred that she never slept with her two eyes closed throughout her two year-stay in Gishiri.
“Let me be honest with you, I don’t want to be selfish here; the level of insecurity in Gishiri was too much. Even though my house has been demolished, I have mixed feelings because it always pained me to see innocent people attacked and their items stolen from them. Yesterday, a pregnant woman was stabbed and her phone snatched from her.
“Those guys operate as a syndicate. They work together with their gangs in Mpape and Mabushi, snatching phones, bags and other valuables from vulnerable residents as early as from 8:30pm. When I am out till 8pm, I don’t bother coming back because it is dangerous”, stated.
One of her former neighbours who also declined giving her name for fear of attacks from the hoodlums said; “It was hard to stop them because it was like some of those people with ropes round their waists (local vigilance teams) were supporting them, because after attacks, when one reports, they simple say there is nothing they can do”, she narrated.
According to her, Gishiri was a safe haven for all the criminals who committed all sorts of robbery in the city and elsewhere in the nation’s capital.
Senior Special Assistant to the FCT minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, Attah Ikharo who led the FCTA Enforcement team, said his team would ensure total demolition of the slum and others.
Ikharo disclosed that the government was acting based on security reports about criminal activities associated with Gishiri, vowing that the team would continue to work till the inauguration of the new administration on May 29.
On his part, Director, FCTA Department of Development Control, Muktar Galadima, said some of the structures were built right on the right of way of a major road corridor traversing Jahi and Maitama Junction.
Galadima therefore called on owners of plots in Gishiri to move in quickly and take possession of their property, warning that the FCT Administration would make them bear any cost of subsequent demolition of illegal structures on their property.