- Published on Sunday, 19 August 2012 10:30
- Written by Elombah.com
Press Release: the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) condemns in the strongest terms the demolition of Mpape Village, Abuja on 16th August 2012, in flagrant disregard for due process and the rule of law mantra of the present administration. Mpape was scheduled for demolition on 31st August but the
representatives of the community filed a suit before the Bwari Area Court against the FCT administration. The Court while accepting jurisdiction on the matter ruled that the status quo be maintained till the determination of the suit.
CDD reiterates the fact that the Nigerian government is supposed to be a democratic one and government should not subvert the rule of law and its own due process mechanism. The Execitive should be respectful of decisions of the Judiciary. We also condemn the use of security agencies in harassing residents of Mpape and other citizen during the demolition exercises as we witnessed on Thursday. Considering the multifaceted security challenges facing the nation at the present time, CDD expects that the security forces ought to have been engaged on assignments of national security and not assisting the FCTA to subvert extant court orders thereby causing untold hardships to Nigerians.
While we affirm that urbanization is an integral part of economic development; there is the need for an effective road map for the rapid urbanization ongoing in our cities. CDD envisages a pro-poor and people-centered development model for Nigeria that would ensure that the quest for development and urbanization does not compromise the welfare of citizens, especially the vulnerable urban poor.
CDD believes that the demolition of houses without prior resettlement of the population thus resulting in destruction of property, homelessness and displacement of the citizenry in the name of urban planning and development is obviously not a sustainable model for Nigeria. We affirm that Nigeria belongs to all of us and thus there is need for the citizens to contribute in deciding the direction of development for Nigeria.
In view of the following, we call upon the FCT administration to obey the law and halt all demolition exercises until the case is properly determined in court and affected citizens are properly resettled and claims for compensations paid. CDD calls on the FCTA and its agencies to immediately publish the Abuja Master Plan and open up forums for deliberation by experts and citizens on the proposed directions for the future development of Abuja.
CDD further calls on the President to immediately relieve Senator Bala Mohammad, the FCT Minister of his duties since he has proven unable to uphold the laws of Nigeria upon which the President had taken an oath of office. This would not only justify the rule of law mantra of the present government, but also prevent further abuses by the Minister and his agents.
We also call on the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and other human rights institutions to urgently join forces and intervene to ensure that the rights of Nigerian citizens are not further abused, that compensations and redress are sought for victims of this injustice especially those who have lost relations from the trauma.
CDD calls on the chief law officer of the nation, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation to urgently take steps to uphold the rule of law and prevent impunity by sanctioning the FCTA for violation of court orders.
We also call on National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Nigerian Red Cross and other charitable and well-meaning Nigerians to urgently come to the aid of the citizens displaced from Mpape. In this regard, we call for the creation of temporary accommodation, provision of relief materials and other services to assist these hapless Nigerians.
CDD wishes to convey our sympathies to all Nigerians especially those displaced by this illegal and hasty demolition in Mpape. We reiterate our readiness to work together with all Nigerians to uphold the sanctity of the rule of law and protect the rights of all Nigerian. We call on all Nigerians to be vigilant in the peaceful defense of their rights.
Signed Jibrin Ibrahim, Ph.D.
16 A7 Street, CITEC Mbora Mount
Pleasant Estate, Jabi/Airport Road
P.O. Box 14345 Wuse Abuja
Tel: +234 9 6716454
Fax: +234 9 4619687