FCTA Demolishes Settlements, Hands Over Land To NAF


Over 200 structures at the Nuwalege community, along the Airport Road in Abuja, have been demolished to allow for the recovery of the land belonging to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

The FCT Department of Development Control which carried out the demolition exercise over the weekend, said the structures had to go to make way for the expansion of the presidential fleet area.

Director of the Department of Development Control, Mukhtar Galadima, told journalists after the exercise, that the Chief of Air Staff had approached the FCT Administration in October 2023, of their intentions to remove some squatters from the said land.

He said the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, impressed it on them that it was the responsibility of the Federal Capital Territory Administration to remove squatters.

According to him, “we informed the residents residing on the Nigeria Air Force land about the impending action and granted them a two-month window to pack their belongings.

“When the Air Force approached us, we told them about the FCTA policy on relocation and resettlement of indegenous communities. However, other non-indigene are to be moved out of the location so that the Air Force can take over their land.

“There was serious sensitisation and campaign as regards to the exercise. We went there, we marked the structures to be removed and we informed them and gave them ample time until after the yultide so they can remove their valuables.”

He said the structures belonging to indegenes were however left out because statutorily, “they have to be relocated and compensated, that’s why we are not touching their properties.

“During the demolition process, approximately 150 buildings were razed, with an estimated 70 more buildings slated for removal before completion”.

The Director asked the Air Force not to commence any work without obtaining approval from the Department of Development Control, insisting they will have to submit their development proposals for vetting and approval before they can commence any development on the reclaimed land.

Some of the residents who were seen moving their properties out of the area said most of them were non-indigenes who bought plots from indigenes with the assurance that government had ceded the village to indigenes.

One of the affected person, James Ugali, said the indigenes had not bothered to occupy the community.

“The ones who lived here with us are less than one percent, while the non-indigenes occupied most of the community.”

The Abuja Inquirer had in December 2023, reported plans to relocate indigenes of Nuwalege community to make way for the expansion of the presidential fleet area.

Galadima, had at the time promised to investigate the issues of compensation of natives, stating that, “we will discuss with the Air Force, because obviously discussion behind the scene indicates that some form of compensation were paid. But, we have to be certain that this compensation actually was paid, and also those given this compensation.

“We are going to conduct further investigation by engaging the FCT Department of Resettlement and Compensation as well as the Nigerian Air Force, and find out if compensation has been paid to who and when?

“And then, we will discuss with our colleagues at the Department of Resettlement and Compensation whether at any point in time, there was any compensation that ascertained their claims as regards to the number of structures and people that are going to be affected by this expansion project.”