Connect with us


CRD Lugbe residents appeal to Tinubu, Wike amid demolition threat



CRD Lugbe residents along Airport Road in Abuja have pleaded with President Bola Tinubu to protect their homes threatened by Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) demolition and land reallocation.

CRD is an acronym for Committee on Resettlement and Development Layout.

In a “Save Our Souls” petition sent to various authorities, including the FCT Minister, National Assembly and others, distressed residents highlighted ongoing harassment by FCDA’s Development Control Department in connivance with a private estate developer.

The residents said on February 7, 2024, residents discovered demolition notices on their buildings, posted by individuals claiming to be from the Development Control Department.

The notices stated a 21-day deadline for demolition to pave the way for a Central Market.

It reads: “Demolition Notice. Plot No. Central Market (3785). District: Lugbe North. Cadastral Zone: E25. The Authority observed with dismay that the development or structure on plot … is defective and constitutes danger or nuisance to the public/adjoining plot.

“Take notice that you are given 21 days to comply by pulling down the structure or have the illegal development demolished in accordance with Section 61 of the Nigeria Urban and Regional Planning Act 1992.”

In the petition sent to the FCT DSS Office, residents express astonishment that the Layout, existing since 1996 with developed properties, is unexpectedly being transformed into a market without residents’ and landowners’ awareness.

Residents attributed the issue to collusion between FCDA officials from the Development Control Department and accused them of harassing, intimidating, and illegally dispossessing them of their properties.

Urging President Tinubu and the FCT Minister to intervene swiftly, residents aimed to prevent the situation from escalating into a multi-dimensional crisis.

Since 2014, residents alleged that owners of Houses for Africa Nigeria Limited, Jonah Nigeria Limited, and Paulo Homes Limited in River Park Estate—have engaged in illegal activities to expand their territory into the CRD land area.

It may be recalled that the CRD layout, covering a land area of about 474 hectares, was created in 1996 by the FCDA to relocate and resettle persons affected by the dualisation and expansion of the Airport Road within the Lugbe 1 area.

The Chairman, CRD Residents and Landlords Association, Abdulwasiu Mustapha, said most of the lands in the CRD Layout were legally acquired from the FCDA.

“The layout was comprehensively designed with various infrastructures, including schools, hospitals, markets, town halls, recreational facilities, religious places of worship, police post, and other public institutions, etc.

“The area in contention, CRD Lugbe 1 Layout is identified in the Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) as Plot No. 0235, where land titles owners have fully developed and occupied since 1996.

“Available information from the FCDA shows that Mr Odili and his private estate development firms, who were allocated part of the CRD area in 2017 by the then El-Rufai administration in the FCT, have so far acquired almost half of the area.

“Our lands were given to Paul Odili without due process of law or revocation of existing titles in clear violation of the rights of the property owners. Since then, our lives have been a living hell”.

Mustapha noted that the residents were subjected to harassment, intimidation, threats, arrests, and detentions without legal justification.

The residents recounted the destruction of their homes, road blockades, trench digging around houses, and isolation from the outside world, with pleas for assistance directed at various public institutions yielding no results.

Despite legal efforts, including court judgments against the developer, the residents emphasised the need for President Tinubu and the FCT Minister to intervene and alleviate their distress.

“Today, we are still in court with him, while some of our people have obtained judgments against him, both at the High Court and Court of Appeal without abating his threats and harassment. We want the President and the FCT Minister to wade in and save us,” the residents cried out in their petitions.

At a meeting with the Director of Development Control, Mukhtar Galadima, to seek clarification on their action, the Chairman of the Residents Association said it was surprising that his promise to convene a meeting of all stakeholders in the crisis to discuss the issues was yet to materialise several days after.

Mustapha said residents who attended the meeting with Galadima were surprised that instead of addressing the areas of breaches of the extant laws regarding building designs and structures, he claimed the CRD community has been re-designed.

According to Galadima, most of the fully developed houses and structures fell within the road corridors and a central market.

The Chairman accused Galadima of failing to provide evidence of the redesigned CRD layout or disclose when the redesign occurred without residents’ knowledge.

Additionally, the Chairman noted that Galadima did not specify the commencement point of the road infrastructure or its termination, raising concerns about transparency and accountability in the process.

“We have lost confidence and trust in the Director’s handling of the matter. We suspect he is playing the familiar script and antics of Mr Paul Odili with the evil intention of dispossessing us of our valued properties.

“There is no way an important action such as redesigning CRD would be done fairly without the involvement of the existing residents since 1996.

“As most of the residents of the CRD community are public and civil servants with pensioners who used their meager life savings to raise a place for their families to live, we will resist every attempt to render us homeless and turn us into refugees,” the residents said.

Tosin Kolade

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



Shell Digital Plan RESPONSIVE600x750
Shell Digital Plan RESPONSIVE600x750