FCDA Averts Army, Police Clash over Land in FCT

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By Johnson Eyiangho

The Federal Capital Territory Development Authority (FCDA), on Wednesday averted a clash between the army and police over ownership of land in the territory.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the land in dispute, 11 hectares, is located around Kuje junction, Giri District, Airport Road.

While the army had cleared the land and deployed some of its personnel to protect it, the police erected a sign board, which announced that the site was for its proposed secondary school.

However, sensing a possible clash between them (army and police), both invited FCDA to demarcate the land between them.

The police currently has a barracks in over 40 hectares beside the disputed land.

On Wednesday, FCDA deployed one of its Surveyors, Mr John Omouokhome, to demarcate the land as demanded by the army and police.

The exercise was witnessed by Brig.-Gen. Lawrence Araba, the Executive Director of the Nigerian Army Welfare Limited by Guarantee and Mr Kanu Okoronkwo, an Assistant Commissioner of Police.

While Araba claimed that the land was allocated to the army in 1998, Chief Ibrahim Rotimi, a consultant to the FCDA, who was at the site, said that it was allocated to the police in 2012.

However, Rotimi said that the 11 hectares in dispute were allocated to the police at Wawa District, but Araba said that the 11 hectares allocated to the army were located in Giri district.

After the demarcation, representatives of both agencies expressed satisfaction with the exercise, saying that it was necessary to avert a possible clash between them.

A coalition of FCT indigenous associations which recently accused the army of grabbing their land, on Tuesday protested to the National Assembly over the issue.

They had also protested to the office of the Minister of FCT, calling for his intervention.

The indigenes alleged that the army wanted to collect their land located at Zuba, Iddo, Sabo and Tuga Maje, all on Airport Road.
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