The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, on Tuesday in Abuja, urged political and community leaders in the territory to cooperate with the administration for the overall development of the capital city.
Bello made the appeal when the FCT political and community leaders led by Sen. Philip Aduda, paid him a courtesy visit.
The visit came in the wake of the removal of illegal structures at Apo Akpajenya and Dagbalo in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).
Bello reiterated the importance of cooperation between the political and community leaders and the FCT administration, stressing that there was need for constant communication between the administration and community leaders.
“Dialogue and sensitisation, community engagement of traditional, religious, indigenous communities as well as the area council political leadership and overall information dissemination are solutions to community issues.
“I assure you as advised, the relevant departments will make sure that what happened doesn’t happen in the way it happened,” he said.
The minister explained that the case of Apo Akpajenya and Dagbalo were inherited by his administration, adding that demolition was always the very last resort.
Bello, however, advised the FCT political and community leaders not to shy away from reality as there were a number of pending projects that would require the cooperation of the communities to ensure success and the overall development of Abuja.
The minister said that he was an advocate of community integration and urban renewal where urban development would be implemented around indigenous communities.
“But this will require the cooperation of those communities,” he said.
Bello decried situations where community heads refused to cooperate with the administration for the development of certain areas within the FCT.
He reminded the leaders that the development of towns and cities took years and could not be accomplished within short periods of time.
The minister, therefore, encouraged community leaders who were relocated and resettled to move to the new locations to encourage members of their community to follow suit.
Bello also enjoined community heads to show leadership and lead by example.
Earlier, Sen. Aduda, representing FCT, said that the delegation was in the FCTA to register concerns over the removal of illegal structures in the affected communities within AMAC.
Aduda said that in future, before such exercises were carried out, enough notice and time should be given to the affected communities to forestall any hardship.
The News Agency of Nigeria , recalls that the FCTA on Saturday, demolished 134 makeshift houses at Apo Akpmajenya indigenous community to pave way for the construction of a major road network in the area.