By Bayode Sipasi
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has stated that it pulled down the structure of the African Independent Television (AIT) because the media organisation encroached into the land in which the structure was erected illegally.
Umar Shuaibu, the Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), explained that the fence was removed because AIT failed to meet up with the agreement it reached with the administration.
“Following the illegal encroachment into plots of lands belonging to many Nigerians and the refusal by the Management of DAAR Communications to abide by the mutual agreement reached between it and the FCT Administration, officials from the Department of Development Control of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council led by the Director, today removed a portion of the fence around the premises of the Africa Independent Television (AIT) in the Asokoro District of Abuja.
“It is important to let the public know that this removal was not intended to inflict any pain on the owners of the property but rather to enable other citizens have access to their legitimate properties.
“It is also a culmination of series of meetings between the Management of DAAR Communications owners of AIT and the Federal Capital Territory administration to end many years of misunderstanding.
“Specifically, in November last year, the Management of DAAR Communications led by High Chief Raymond Dokpesi paid a courtesy visit to the FCT Minister and they were received on his behalf by Chief of Staff to the FCT Minister, Bashir Mai-Borno who led the FCTA team made up of relevant directors and others in the discussions.
“The purpose of the discussions was to resolve the protracted dispute regarding the actual size of land legally allocated to DAAR Communications as against the area covered by their perimeter fence. The whole idea was for both parties to mutually agree to reach a settlement that would bring about permanent solution and forge ahead for the development of the FCT and the nation at large.
“After very fruitful deliberations on the areas of contention, each side expressed satisfaction over the new reconciliatory approach and the sincerity in reaching a logical and peaceful conclusion.
“Thereafter, both parties agreed to visit the site for an on-the-spot investigation of the area were surveyors from both parties were able to identify the problematic areas on a satellite image map, leading to a common agreement on the necessity to remove the portions of the fence that has encroached into adjoining plots of land belonging to other Nigerians.
“Indeed, at that meeting, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, expressed confidence in the ability of the current FCT Administration to end the matter satisfactorily and pledged to abide by its outcome.
“Unfortunately, while everybody is happy and pleased that the issues have been resolved and in line with the commitment of both parties, DAAR Communications has been evasive in doing its part by voluntarily removing the illegal fence and other structures causing obstruction to their neighbours.
“The FCT Administration was therefore left with no other option than to do the needful by removing the illegal structures. With this removal, other allottees are now free to access their plots of land.”