New Telegraph

Satellite towns’ residents decry deteriorating facilities

The residents of several communities in the Federal Capital Territory ( FCT) are unhappy with the poor state of security and basic social infrastructure in the satellite towns. CALEB ONWE reports


In recent years, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja has witnessed tremendous growth and development in terms of roads, bridges, housing estates and recreational facilities. In fact, thousands of Nigerians who rush into the city on daily basis are attracted by these physical infrastructure. It is unarguably the most planned city in Nigeria and therefore, the cynosure of all eyes.

Unfortunately, that beautiful story ends while one is in the city centre with its wide, paved roads and numerous flyover bridges; high rise buildings and well manicured green spaces. Once you get out of the Central Business District and begin your journey to the satellite towns, the story changes.

The roads begin to get narrow and bumpy even as human and vehicular traffic gets denser. Residents in many of the suburban communities who own cars complain of the roads that have become deplorable, scarcity of water and insecurity.

Even some of the places that were properly mapped out and approved in the master plan are also crying of neglect. Inside Abuja took a trip to some of the communities and interacted with some residents who said the current administration of the FCT abandoned them in the past seven years.

According to them, the administration did not give attention to social infrastructures at satellite towns, but concentrated more on the City Centre.

Gidan-mangoro relocation settlement

At Gidan-Mangoro Relocation Settlement, a vast community, located within the Abuja Municipal Area Council, the people said, they have been living there without access roads.

The community was approved for development by the FCTA and has been existing for the past 17 years. Ironically, many staff of the FCTA, live there. One of the residents, Dr. Jude Nmesoma expressed worries that several appeals made by them to the administration for access road, did not yield any results.

The aged retiree said driving out from most parts of the Resettlement Area, has been a nightmarish experience for many years. Another resident of the community, who pleaded anonymity, said that the only manageable roads in the area were built through community efforts.

He complained that life has been very unbearable to many of the residents, due to the heavy rains.

According to him, once it rains, many people would stay indoors, to avoid the hazards posed by flash floods. He disclosed that many residents have acquired rain-boots to enable them navigate through the bad roads during the rainy season.

Kubwa extension II

This community located on Arab Road, Kubwa, in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), was one of the areas carved out by Federal Capital Development Agency (FCDA). for people who were displaced by demolition in 2003.

The residents are not only bothered about the access roads have become impassable, but are crying over some environmental hazards threatening their health and general well-being.

One of the issues giving them sleepless nights, is the unfenced and unmanned cem-  etery within their community, where they alleged, that corpses were being dumped indiscriminately.

They have also cried out for help over illegal mining around the community by some foreign construction companues.


Poor road network

A community leader and Chairman, Extension II, Relocation Residents Association, Augustine Ekwenuya, said apart from lack of roads in the community, there was also a looming epidemic.

He alleged that since 2003 that the community was commissioned, the only project that government initiated there was the Cemetery that has become an albatross to residents.

Ekwenuya disclosed the environmental workers have abandoned their duty of maintaining the cemetery, resulting to dead bodies been dumped indiscriminately.

Ekwenuya said: “The cemetery issue is right here with us, we had written to the Chairman Bwari Area Council, we also copied the FCT Minister, inviting them to come and have a look at the cemetery, a cemetery that is not fenced, not manned by any personnel, people come at will and dump corpses.

“We don’t attend to problems until the problems come up. We are at a very high risk of facing an epidemic. On Tuesday night at about 3:15am, I was standing outside and I saw about four people going to dump a dead body there, and I challenged them. Of course, I could not stop them, but it reminded me of the letter to the FCT Minister and the Bwari Area Council Chairman on the cemetery. They have not responded to our letter asking them to fence the cemetery to avoid an epidemic.”

Another community leader and Vice Chairman, Kubwa Extension II, Relocation Residents Association, Mr. Francis Bobai said, residents after suffering lack of motorable roads, are also subjected to unnecessary health and environmental hazards in the community.

“The issue of the environmental pollution and hazard we have been facing because of the presence of a quarry the government gave license to operate here. One of the predominant issue is that most of the health challenges we have in the community are because of their activities.


“When they are blasting the rocks, some of our homes crack and the asphalt they burn here, we inhale some of the waste products they bring out. It affects us health wise, and there is no mechanism from either the government who gave them the permission to operate or the quarry itself to provide any community service to us.

“I think we are in touch with Zeberced since their inception as a company but there is no assistance rendered to this community which they benefit from,” he stated.

Pegi community, Kuje

Chairman of Pegi Community Residents Association, Isaac Aderibigbe recently, cried out that the road project started in the area had been abandoned, leaving residents at the mercy of kidnappers who often take advantage of the bad spots on the road.

He stated that several appeals had been sent to the Minister of the FCT, Mallam Muhammad Bello, to help complete the remaining parts of the roads.

According to him, residents have resigned to fate, believing that one day God will send a messiah to them.

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