Amnesty International condemns FCTA demolition of Durumi 3 community in Abuja


Amnesty International has condemned the forced evictions caused by demolition Thursday morning, the global rights body and the community held a press briefing at the Chief’s Palace, Dubaidna and released a joint statement condemning the forced eviction that saw two community members shot. ns at the Dubaidna community in Durumi, Abuja.
“The forced eviction of 17 August 2022 has rendered some community members homeless and several without livelihoods. Forced evictions constitute gross violations of a range of internationally recognized human rights, including the right to adequate housing and the human rights of indigenous people,” the statement said. “Forced evictions also expose people to other human rights violations, including the rights to food, water, health, education, work, and freedom from cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.”

The organisation called on the federal government to refrain from enforcing these evictions and take action to prevent them as Nigeria is a party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

“We’re working very hard to ensure that every person, regardless of your status, in society has a place. Nigeria belongs to us all and not just to a select few,” said Osai Ojighoi, country director for Amnesty International.

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The community noted the intimidation faced by the community from real-estate developers who have said the village of Durumi 3 has been allocated to them.

Amnesty International notes that this harassment has been done “despite the lack of genuine consultations by government and real-estate developers with the indigenous inhabitants of the community. No resettlement plans nor compensation have been put in place.”

“Durumi community has been living in fear since they came to mark the houses. We lost so many things when they came, including human life. There are two of our community members in the hospital, to God be the glory no life was lost,” Ismaila Gandaba, the community leader said. “We employed the services of the lawyers and asked them to write a letter to the Minister of the FCT informing him of what is about to happen. Even our senators, they’re all aware of what’s happening.”

Tella Paulina, the community’s women leader, said that mobile phones had been snatched from the residents when the staff of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Department of Development Control, personnel of the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police and some other security agencies came to demolish the houses.

“Women have been rendered homeless. We the women of Durumi 3 are mostly business people, right now we don’t have a market or a hospital, and we don’t have good schools for our children to attend. The houses we are living in we are just managing,” Ms Paulina said.

On August 17, staff of the FCTA Department of Development Control, soldiers, police officers and some other security agencies stormed Dubaidna Durumi 3 community with payloader vehicles and demolished about a hundred structures, including houses, markets, churches and mosques.

The FCTA Department of Development Control said the demolitions came as a high level of insecurity and the assumption that some communities might be harbouring criminals.

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