Controversy as conflicting reports emerge on demolition of ‘New PDP’ secretariat

by ‘Jola Sotubo

There have been a series of reports in the media about the stance of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on the fate of the sealed-off secretariat of the Baraje-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Some reports say the FCTA has decided to demolish the building because it was being used in contravention of the Land Use ordinances and the Abuja Master Plan.

Others however say that the FCTA insists that contrary to media reports, it has only sealed off the building to prevent further illegal use and that it has not been marked for demolition as is being widely claimed.

Leadership News reports:

A section of the media yesterday reported that the FCTA had marked the building for demolition on October 11, 2013.

But the Public Relations Officer of the FCT department of development control, Kalu Emetu, who stated this in a telephone interview yesterday, explained that the marking on the fence of the building in red ink was not for demolition but for the property owner to revert to the original use of the building.

He said, “It is a residential property. What they have done there is contravention of the land use and that is why the property was sealed.

“The red marking on the building doesn’t necessarily mean demolition and if you see the marking on the building in question, it is clearly marked revert, that is for the owner to revert to the original use.”

Emetu further stated that it was pertinent for the building to be reverted to its original use so that infrastructure facilities provided for the area are not over stretched.

However other reports have it that the FCTA is determined to go ahead with the demolition of the marked building.

Vanguard reports:

MINISTER of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Senator Bala Mohammed, yesterday, vowed that there was no going back on planned demolition of the secretariat of the Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led new Peoples Democratic Party, nPDP, located on Plot 3206A, Number 4, Oyi River Crescent, off Babangida Way, Maitama, if the faction fails to adhere strictly to land use Act.

Speaking with Vanguard, Director, Development Control, Yahaya Yusuf boasted that the occupiers of the marked building must revert to the original plan of the structure of residential as against the present usage or it will be demolished. He also disclosed that the building forms part of the 202 buildings that have violated Land Use Act.

Yusuf noted that the FCTA might not demolish the structure if the factional PDP stops using it as a party secretariat, adding that converting it to a party secretariat, has violated the Abuja master plan.

Reacting yesterday, the National Publicity Secretary of Baraje faction, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze dared the FCTA authorities to demolish the building and face the legal consequences. “Let them go ahead and demolish the building. We can assure them that we are going to rebuild the building with money from the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“We will sue them for willful destruction and they will be made to know that the building belongs to a Nigerian citizen with constitutional rights to own property in any part of the country, including the Federal Capital Territory.”

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