In order to tackle the rising level of criminality and insecurity in the nation’s capital city of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory Administration, (FCTA) on Tuesday began the removal of shanties, barchers, in Kubwa area of Abuja, built by scavengers, popularly known as Babanbola in local parlance.

The Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT Minister, Ikharo Attah led the operation in collaboration with the Leader of the joint security team, CSP Solomon Adebayo.

Attah while speaking to journalists, said the team came to handle a security problem in the area, which is by Kubwa train station, where people are attacked from 6 pm onwards, on daily basis.

Recall that, informations revealed on several occasions how some scavengers are constituting nuisance in the FCT by committing violent crimes and peddling drugs.

According to Attah, “we came here to actually address security problems, we came here with the full support and the directive of the FCT Minister Malam Muhammad Bello and Commissioner of Police Sunday Babaji to actually tackle the issue of miscreants and babanbola who wreak havoc on persons in FCT, this is the connecting area between Kubwa and Biazhin and there are so many cases of reports here from this rail corridor and rail station that many people cannot even pass after 6 pm, you dare not pass this area after 6 pm. Many persons have been robbed and stabbed with knives and other dangerous weapons and dispossessed of their belongings here.

“Machines cannot get to that stretch so we had to set the shanties and bachers on fire. From what we gathered some drugs that are being sold around here, were found and were being handled by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) personnel.

“I can’t really quantify the number of shanties but my desire is to sack the shanties and free this area of all criminal elements. The residents were jubilating even though they were scared to show their faces to journalists. They were so happy because most of those boys scale the fence of the estate around here and rob them without being challenged,” he lamented.

On sustainability, Attah said: “We are going to come back and we will keep coming and keep coming until they give up on this location.

“We came here last year it was densely populated by barchers and what we see today is about 40% of what we removed last year. If they come again we will be waiting for them. What is important is sustainability and when the government keeps doing the job and the Minister and Commissioner of Police have given us the mandate to go after bababola in Abuja. Most of the things we recovered are daggers, attack knives, light weapons etc. They even went to the extent that their bachers are close to the train tracks,” he stated.

A resident in the area who didn’t want his name mentioned for fear of being attacked, said: “This is a very strong spot and no-man’s land because they take anything that can make them high. They take hard drugs and sell hard drugs, once they take drugs they don’t respect anyone.

“This is very dangerous, we do our business during the day we close before 6 pm because of the insecurity around here. We would have appreciated the government to allow people who are doing genuine business to stay here, the way they live here nobody would be happy or be on their side.”

Mark Ulogwu, another resident in the area that was once attacked by miscreants in that area was very happy the shanties were destroyed.

He said: “I have been living here since 1989, I am very happy about the destruction of these shanties. In this town, this is the kind of place criminals hide. The FCT needs to come back to keep checking the place because I am sure once they move out, in the next two or three months, they will come back to this place.

“I am sure if they are doing their businesses quietly, I don’t think the government would have sacked them. I believe they came based on things that have happened around here. I personally was attacked on this spot and the okada man abandoned me. I was robbed, they collected all my valuables and I was beaten seriously.

“In order to address this issue, make sure they don’t come back. The administration can put fence like babwire or something to stop them from coming back.”


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