Amnesty International condemns Abuja demolition

A global human rights organization, Amnesty International, has condemned the demolition of Dubaidna Durumi village three days after the violent eviction of the community’s residents.

A joint statement by Amnesty International Nigeria and the village of Dubaidna Durumi 3, made available to journalists during a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, stated that two of the community members were shot while others were made homeless and stripped of their livelihoods. were stripped.

The PUNCH previously reported that the eviction that took place on August 17, 2022 left hundreds of people homeless and unemployed as some homes and small shops were demolished, sparking a mixture of fear and anger among residents living in unplanned areas in the country’s capital.

The country director, Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, said the organization had called on the federal government not to enforce these expulsions and to take action to prevent them, as Nigeria was a party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. .

“We work very hard to ensure that everyone, regardless of their status in society, has a place. Nigeria belongs to all of us and not just to a select few,” Ojigho said.

The community told of all their tribulations but said they had faced a lot of intimidation and threats from real estate developers who said the village of Durumi 3 had been assigned to them.

In addition, Amnesty noted that this harassment was committed despite the lack of genuine consultation and adequate notification by the government and real estate developers with the indigenous residents of the community. According to the organization, there was no resettlement plan or compensation.

For his part, the community leader, Ismaila Gandaba, said: “We have engaged the lawyers and asked them to write a letter to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory to inform him of what is going to happen, but our letters had not been responded to. .

“They came and did not warn us; suddenly the guards started marking. We confronted them because they usually write to the village chief, instead of saying the message was from the minister.

“If they can move us, we will leave their land for them. It is not the government that wants to use the land, but private developers.”

Also, the female community leader, Tella Paulina, spoke as she told what happened, as they tried to take photos and videos to send to various social media platforms to get help, their cell phones were snatched and vandalized by officials of the community. the FCT Administration Department of Development Control, Nigerian Army personnel, Nigeria Police Force and some other security forces.

“Women have become homeless. The women of Durumi 3 are mostly business people. At the moment we don’t have a market or hospital, and we don’t have good schools for our children. The houses we live in, we just manage with our families,” she said.

The FCTA Department of Development Control said the destruction was the result of a high level of insecurity and the assumption that some communities may be harboring criminals.

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