CAPP explains rise in Abuja shanties, urges FCDA to reconsider demolition of houses

Community Action for Popular Participation (CAPP) has joined other Nigerians and organizations  in condemning the planned demolition of houses in 19 satellite towns of the Federal Capital Territory. CAPP in a press release also explained why shanties have been spring up in the Federal Capital Territory.According to CAPP “The rural-urban migration in the country for greener pastures is a major factor responsible for the springing up of shanties and illegal structures in the FCT and other parts of Nigeria. In addition, this problem can also be attributed to the lack of planning, ineffective development controls measures, high cost of land and cumbersome land allocation and building approvals processes.”

The civil society organization which has joined other groups like CISLAC and the National Human Rigthts Commission to condemn FCDA’s move is actually urging the authorities “to reconsider their stand by going about this with a human face.  The planned demolition of houses in the FCT and in some parts of the country should be done with caution and consideration for the people that will be affected.”

“The level of corruption in Nigeria today can be seen in the sharp disparity between the rich and the poor as well as in the settlement pattern in the cities.  Development is a necessity in every human society but the people should not be sacrificed on the grounds of developing the country especially when the action is geared towards improving the standard of living of the people” CAPP added in a release by  Kyauta Giwa,its  executive director

“Even though residents have taken laws into their hands by erecting structures without adhering to land acquisition and building approvals, government should consider the effect of the demolition on the citizenry which includes increased poverty, crime rates and health challenges. The government should take the welfare of the people into cognizance by giving them adequate notice before hand and providing alternative  shelter for them. Development should be for the people and not the other way round,”the CSO said.

CAPP’s executive director suggested that “The only way these problems can be addressed is for Government to provide low cost houses and develop the other area councils instead of the high cost estates that are seen in the capital city with nobody occupying them.We hereby advise government to address high rent in the FCT as well as provide alternatives for residents whose properties have been earmarked for demolition. In addition, we advise government to put in place compensation plans for those whose houses are affected to cushion the effect as some of these residents borrowed money to build the houses.”

Earlier,Dr Chidi Anselm Odinkalu,chairman of the governing council of NHRC  condemned the arbitrary demolition of human settlements going on in several parts of the country.He pledged that the commission would investigate an alleged killing in Lagos.The NHRC in statement yesterday said it has commenced investigations into the Lagos demolition tragedy.