Friday, June 20, 2014 8:57 pm
Abuja – The Department of Development Control and Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) on Friday said there was no loss of lives during the demolition undertaken on Thursday in Lungu village, Abuja.
The Director of the department, Malam Yahaya Yusuf, said at a news conference on the issue that it was careful not to harm people during demolition.
He said that the demolition was executed with the knowledge of leaders in Lungu village.
“The exercise came after we had consultations with the chief of the village and after serving several notices to the residents.
“Villagers are fond of selling government land and this particular plot was meant for mass housing and was allotted to Holyfield Ventures for that purpose,’’ he said.
He said that aggrieved residents appeared to be imbibing the idea of causing mayhem in the city whenever a government policy affected them.
“We exercise a lot of decorum in handling tasks like this so that people do not suffer unnecessarily.
“But we observe that protests have become an emerging trend in Abuja; protesters did something similar at Airport Road sometime ago,” he said.
He said that during and after the demolition, no incident of death was reported to the department.
“We have not received any official reports from any law enforcement agency that people died in Lungu village during the exercise yesterday but we will continue to investigate,” the director said.
Mr Reuben Okoya, AMMC Coordinator, said that the exercise was a statutory function of the development control department to maintain the Abuja master plan.
He said that the department would continue to discharge its duties fairly with full cooperation of citizens and urged the press to shun unconfirmed reports.
“The department came out to discharge its statutory function of maintaining Abuja master plan and the chiefs and residents of the community were fully notified.
“We shall keep maintaining and sanitising the city but we will do it fairly but citizens should provide accurate information to the public,” he said.
Mr Nosike Ogbuenyi, Chief Press Secretary to Sen. Bala Muhammed, the FCT Minister, said that the issue would be investigated.
He advised journalists to thoroughly verify their reports before going to press to avoid “heating up the polity”.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that residents of Lungu on Thursday blocked the Kubwa Expressway while protesting against the demolition.
The protests caused a huge traffic gridlock on the road.