Security Concerns Rise in Abuja Over Criminals Occupying Uncompleted Buildings

Emma Bulletin
3 Min Read
Security Concerns Rise in Abuja Over Criminals Occupying Uncompleted Buildings

Abuja residents are increasingly alarmed by the presence of criminal elements converting uncompleted buildings into hideouts across the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and its environs.

In both the city center and satellite towns, numerous uncompleted structures have become shelters for unknown individuals, raising significant security concerns among local inhabitants.

Residents Speak Out

A visit to several locations revealed that many of these uncompleted buildings have been abandoned for years, providing easy access for various individuals to move in and take up residence. Yinka, a resident of Guzape extension, noted the growing fear among those living in estates in the area. “Guzape is becoming like the new Maitama with many estates under construction. These buildings are left as carcasses, and before you know it, unknown faces start appearing in the neighborhood,” he explained.

Yinka recounted an incident where one of his neighbors was nearly robbed while jogging early in the morning, suspecting that the miscreants occupying the uncompleted buildings were responsible.

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Similarly, Abdul Kabir from Utako reported suspicious activities to authorities but observed that despite occasional operations to evict the miscreants, they eventually return. “Since 2014, these guys have been moving from one uncompleted building to another,” he stated.

In Kubwa, Martha Musa highlighted a rise in house burglaries, attributing them to the illegal occupants of these uncompleted buildings. “We have spoken to the community leader for action,” she said.

Call for Policy Changes

Aliyu Wamakko, the immediate past president of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, called for a government policy to set a timeframe for building completion. He suggested imposing penalties, such as levies or fines, on those who abandon construction projects. “There should be a clause indicating when you are expected to finish the building project, attracting a levy each year if abandoned,” he proposed.

Government Response

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has acknowledged the issue, with statistics indicating about 460 abandoned or uncompleted buildings in the FCT. Security experts have warned that these buildings could be havens for criminals, including terrorists and kidnappers.

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FCT Minister Nyesom Wike emphasized the urgency of addressing the problem, stating, “We cannot allow these uncompleted buildings where criminals have made their places of abode. Bring down all these uncompleted buildings that have turned into shanties, and they will have nowhere to hide.”

Task Force Initiatives

Last week, the FCTA set up a joint security task force, including the SSS, police, army, and navy, to target identified areas and demolish structures harboring criminals.

This initiative aims to enhance security and reclaim the city’s safety for its residents.

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