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Land dispute: Minister promises amicable resolution between Army, Abuja natives

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Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has assured the indigenous people of Tunga-Maje in Gwagwalada Area Council that the issue of a disputed parcel of land allegedly encroached upon by the Nigerian Army would be resolved amicably by the highest authorities.

She gave the assurance when she visited a portion of the disputed land while promising the indigenous people and traditional heads that justice will be done to both warring parties.

The Minister, however, commended the community for not taking laws into their hands, while assuring that if the disputed land was allocated to the Nigerian Army, resettlement and adequate compensation would be made to the natives.

According to her, “I must sincerely extend my appreciation to both the chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council and Abuja Municipal Area Council for calling on FCT Administration and the trust that the administration can resolve this lingering land dispute.

“I must also appreciate the Agura of Zuba and the indigenous people of Tunga-maje for your calm conducts. You have demonstrated that you are indeed law abiding citizens.

“From the narration of the Agura, it has been a painful moment, but hopefully this time around, we will be able to take it to the appropriate quarters where the needful will be done.

“If indeed the land is allocated from the federal authorities to the Nigerian Army, of course consideration must be made for a new place to relocate to and of course to settle you by compensation.

“But before then, we will not jump the gun. Therefore, we want you to be law abiding as we go back to revisit the issues. Justice must be done. I want to appeal to you to be law abiding because the matter is not beyond the authorities to handle,” Aliyu assured.

Earlier, the Chairman, Gwagwalada Area Council, Adamu Mustapha Danze, revealed that since his inauguration as chairman of the council four years ago, the battle to reclaim the disputed land from the Nigerian Army has been vehemently resisted with its attendant casualties.

Danze, said that despite the intervention of the National Assembly through various public hearings, innocent lives have been loss through army bullets, adding that the orphans from such senseless killings are now burden to both Gwagwalada and Abuja Municipal Area Councils.

The council boss therefore appealed to FCT Minister of State and other relevant authorities to use their good offices to resolve the issue.

According to him, “we have been battling with this issue to the extent that lives are loss from army’s bullets. Many homes are now orphans and the community is taking care of these orphans. We are in pain over this matter and we are appealing to you to take further action”.

The minister was received by the Agura of Zuba, HRH. Mohammad Umar Bello, who also told the minister of the pains the community has gone through since the beginning of the crisis.

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