No fewer than four residents have been injured as hoodlums invaded ECOWAS Estate in the Katampe area of the Federal Capital Territory on Monday and Tuesday.
THE PUNCH gathered that there was an issue still unresolved between residents of the estate and developers in the adjoining land.
Information states that the crisis began after the Federal Capital Development Agency allotted the land to some developers two years ago.
The developers were said to have created an access road to the land through the estate, which was resisted by the residents.
The Chairman of the estate association, Dr Austin Maho, blamed a developer of hiring the thugs.
Maho said many of the residents were beaten by the thugs, and that the estate gate was also destroyed by the hoodlums.
In his words; ‘’Yesterday (Monday), one of the developers brought thugs to the estate; they were about 15. They beat up some residents and demolished the wall we constructed to block their access. Even the entrance gate to the estate that was there since 1997 was demolished.
“They wanted to attack the policemen deployed in the scene, but those ones called for reinforcement. They ran away and threatened to come late in the night. Four residents were injured. They said they were coming back in the night, so many of us ran from our houses.
“I personally did not pass the night in the estate. Many people did not. Three of the thugs were arrested yesterday. Today (Tuesday), they came to attack those left on the estate.’’
He narrated that the crisis began after they discontinued the usage of the estate as a thoroughfare to the one being constructed by the developers.
Maho said; “ECOWAS Estate is a diplomatic estate and most of the people here are diplomats.
“Two years ago, FCDA allocated 55 hectares for an estate after our estate, which is still being developed.
“The unfortunate thing is that when they did that allocation, there was no access road to the land. What they did was to carve out a road through our estate which is like somebody passing through your bedroom to access his own house.
“We allowed them, believing that with time, they would solve the problem. When we could no longer bear it, we raised the alarm.
“In October last year, the FCT minister visited with all the concerned directors and he ordered us to block the road and set up a committee to look into the matter. We blocked it two months after the minister gave the order.’’
One of the developers, Uzo Mbabie, said neither he nor other developers brought thugs to attack the residents.
He said, “Nobody was attacked. Some workers wanted to gain entrance to their site; you can’t block people from entering their property.
“We have our layout to show them, but they said they were not interested. The place in question is the back of their estate.
“They misled the minister when he came, saying the place is not a road, that it is their estate. He (minister) cannot tell them to block an access road.’’
The Chief Press Secretary to the minister, Anthony Ogunleye, said a committee set up to look into the dispute had not concluded its work.
He said, “The committee is still working.’’
The FCT police spokesperson to FCT police command, DSP Josephine Adeh could not be contacted despite several calls.
A text message sent during press time, had yet to be replied by her.