The Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has commenced the processes leading to the closure and removal of all temporary recreational facilities situated on the transit ways within the Abuja Federal Capital City as the Administration major road and railway projects get underway.

A joint statement issued on dated October 20 and signed by the FCTA Director of Parks & Recreation, Rolands Ologun and his Development Control counterpart, Town Planner Yahaya Yusuf explained that the quit notices being given in the course of the exercise are not targeted at any person or group of persons. Rather, they are part of FCTA’s routine administrative processes aimed at ensuring strict compliance with the provisions of the Abuja Master Plan.

The statement frowned at the insinuation by Mrs. Aisha Sani Alhassan, the owner of A-Class Event Centre, Maitama, one of the affected gardens, that the administrative measures have political undertone. They pointed out that A-Class is not the only recreation centre on the Transit Way that was served quit notice. According to them, Leisure Park, which is directly opposite A-Class, among other non-conforming land uses, was also served the same quit notice.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Directors recalled that at the end of the last monthly FCTA Operational Briefing over a month ago, the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed had reiterated the determination of the Administration to enforce the provisions of the Abuja Master Plan as an ongoing process by disclosing that a total of 202 cases of land use violation had been sealed across the Federal Capital City.

The Directors of Parks and Recreation and Development Control clarified further in the joint statement: “We wish to state that there is no political motive whatsoever behind the Quit Notice. The action as stated is informed by time honoured rules and regulations guiding development of structures
in the Federal Capital City and such rules are not targeted at individuals or group of persons. Nobody should therefore read political or any other parochial meanings to this administrative measure which is intended to uphold overriding public interest.

“The FCT Administration will not be deterred by unwarranted insinuations and propaganda in its determination to bequeath to Nigerians and posterity a befitting Federal Capital City.”

It should be recalled that Mrs. Alhassan, the owner of the A-Class Centre had few days ago reportedly threatened to sue the FCT Administration over the quit notice served on the site allocated to her for a temporary use as a green area. But Ologun and Yusuf have faulted her stance while drawing her attention to the undertaking she signed with the FCTA in 2010 to personally remove all her structures at the site to give way for the vital Transit Way to be constructed in the overall public interest and in line with the provisions of Abuja Master Plan. They pointed out that the understanding explains why she was only given a temporary permit to operate a garden there with a clear indication that the removal can be at any time with short notice without any compensation.

The two FCTA directors berated Mrs. Alhassan for going beyond the scope of the temporary permit given her through the illegal construction of full blown recreational facilities, event centre, restaurants and place of worship etc on the proposed Transit Way corridor. “The act has spurred others to join in the unlawful act by setting up similar businesses on other segments of the Transit Corridor. The unlawful attitude of the operator and those of others have made it imperative for the FCT Administration, as a responsible agency, to revoke all temporary allocations on the Transit Way to clear the way for the project,” they stressed.

(A press release from FCTA)

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