Flooding: We’ll not stop prosecuting persons obstructing waterways – FCTA

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…95% obstruction of waterways are infringements

By Muhammad Abdullahi

Abuja

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has on Tuesday, said there is no going back in prosecution of residents, developers and staff that are responsible for constriction and obstruction of waterways in Abuja.

The Executive Secretary of Executive  Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Engr. Shehu Hadi Ahmed, stated this when he led some of FCTA Executives on a tour of flood prone areas in and around Abuja.

He said the Department of Development Control, has already been given a matching other to immediately removed all constriction and all structures obstructing waterways along Lokogoma district and Airport road corridor

The Executive Secretary, who was in company of the Director General FCT- Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA), Alhaji Abbas Idriss, the Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the minister of FCT, Ikharo Attah, the coordinator Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Shuaibu Umar, and other management staff, visited Airport road stretch, Lokogoma district and Dutse.

According to him,
“What we set out to do is actually to physically inspect all the critical locations for flash flooding spots within Abuja, especially following the flash flood incidents that occured on Saturday in which a lot of places were flooded.

“And these have raised a lots of concern for the FCT administration, the Minister of FCT Malam Muhammad Bello, convened an emergency executive meeting in which he directed , my humble self to lead a team of technical departments that has to do with mitigation of flooding. So we embarked on this tour especially along the airport express way which is considered one of the principal gateways to international visitors and also presidential roots. We have some concern we have some locations along the airport road that had some washouts,places like Gosa village, Trademore Estate, Galadimawa roundabout, Lokogoma district, where we inspected Mountain of Fire area, Gogo gada, which is one of the most vulnerable spots anytime it rains.There are problems of drivers want to cross the bridge when it is being flooded and often times we have cases of vehicles being swept off and lives are often lost. This can be collaborated by the Director General FEMA.
We have lost not less than five lives on this spot

“All the places we visited we have issue of constriction of waterways and inadequacy of space that would allow passage of water. We have seen that this is an issue that must be addressed immediately and I think as we finished this inspection we are ready to start work”.

On Dogon gada in Lokogoma, a notorious spot that have claimed about five lives, he said,
“This particular entry point at Dongo gada is not the plan access to Lokogoma, the plan access is by Ahmadu Bello way extension and since provisions have been made we are going to close up this corridor to redirect traffic to use that point because we cannot continue to endanger the lives of people.

“We take exception to anyone that will want to use this road after it has been closed. We won’t allow any residents to risk their lives”.

He noted, “The Department of Development Control has been given matching order to clear all obstruction on waterways especially Trademore Estate and Lokogoma district”.

On prosecution of those building on waterways and complexity of staff, he said, “Yes, our actions will be slightly different from what was obtain in the past culprits who responsible in constricting waterways including our officers some complexity in allowing development and we are not going to allow that”.

AMMC coordinator while speaking to journalists at one of the site, lamented that the selfishness of few people, put lots of people’s lives in danger, which is not acceptable.

“Most of these places that we have seen are attempt by people, to satisfy their interest against the interest of generality.

“The happening around these areas are very dangerous and the people in the area atimes have the tenerity to take legal actions against us, however this will not deter us, we have existing laws that empowers us to go on this enforcement, we are going to make sure that anyone that does not have nay approval we are going to do our enforcement and even if the person goes to court, we have enabling laws to allow us do whatever we are doing.

“We are therefore appealing to residents to develop according to regulations because 95% of cases are infringements they are violations and anywhere we found out that approval is given, they are always very minor and if there is any legal provisions that allows the person to be there we can replace you in order to save lives and anyone that require prosecution in this matter shallbe prosecute. Definitely we are going to safe public funds . If we don’t punish people will not do the right thing”.