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CHAPTER ONE Renewed Demolitions in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Recent demolitions carried out by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and security agencies have affected homes, schools, clinics, churches, mosques, and businesses without adequate consultation with communities, and without providing adequate notice, compensation, or adequate resettlement, resulting in the massive displacement of tens of thousands of people. From Gosa 1 village to Iddo, Kpaduma, Gishiri, Bassa Jiwa, to Galadimawa, the homes of both indigenes and non-indigenes have been demolished leaving thousands without shelter and sources of livelihood. Makeshift pads built on uncompleted plots as well as some carwash centers, shops extensions7, and drinking joints located so closely to strategic areas were pulled down, in a disquieting manhunt for Boko Haram members. In this connection, the term, “improving security measures” now provides an additional veil for lands often taken in this manner to be handed over to private property developers covetous of pricey lands of poor rural dwellers. Authorities of the FCDA have drawn a distinction between the FCT and the Federal Capital City (FCC) with the former occupying approximately 8 000 square kilometers (km2), while the latter constitutes just about 250 km28. Under the Master Plan, all indigenous villages within five kilometers of the area intended for the Federal Capital City (FCC), as well as several areas of support, including “the game reserve area; the reservoir watersheds; the plains areas adjacent to the Capital City containing the airport; and the key access points to the Federal Capital Territory” were therefore to be resettled in other areas of the FCT or in the neighboring states of Nigeria, such as Niger, Plateau and Kwara9. Residents of FCT are broadly classified into indigenes and non-indigenes/settlers/squatters. The indigenes are the original inhabitants of Abuja whose communal occupation and landholding predates the establishment of Abuja as the Federal Capital, while non-indigenes refer to those who migrated to the city after the post-capital era. With a staggering influx of migrants to the FCT without counterpart investment in the provision of basic infrastructure and services, combined with the lack of access to land, insecurity of tenure and sharp practices in the land titling regime, all these combines to fuel the exponential growth of informal/squatter settlements across the metropolis. The segregation between indigenes and non-indigenes is consistent with a systematic pattern of discrimination in the compensation, resettlement benefits and related arrangements, which have deliberately excluded non-indigenes. The Abuja Master Plan and Forced Evictions Between 2003 and 2007, an unprecedented scale of forced evictions was witnessed across the FCT, pursuant to an Orwellian urban beautification program fanatically anchored on the restoration of the Abuja Master Plan, launched by the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir El Rufai. Justifying the demolitions, city authorities claimed that the evictions formed part of efforts to correct distortions to the original Abuja Master Plan, through a stricter implementation regime10. The Master Plan-induced forced 7

In Galadimawa, about 25 buildings, including structures with additional protrusions in front of their shops were demolished by the FCDA authorities in March 2012. 8 SERAC Meeting with Dr. Festus Esekhile, FCDA’s Director of Resettlement and Compensation on May 11, 2011 9 Myth of the Abuja Master Plan @ 22 10 The then Federal Military Government of Nigeria approved the Abuja Master Plan, designed by International Planning Associates (IPA) DEMOLISHING FOUNDATIONS OF PEACE

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DEMOLISHING FOUNDATIONS OF PEACE  

This report critically examines the effectiveness and human rights implications of using house demolitions to deter terrorism in Northern N...

DEMOLISHING FOUNDATIONS OF PEACE  

This report critically examines the effectiveness and human rights implications of using house demolitions to deter terrorism in Northern N...

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