“How police Molested Us” Banana,Monkey Village Residents
As FCT Administration commenced demolition of structures, residents of a settlement popularly called ‘Monkey and Banana‘ villages behind Christ Apostolic Church Area 1, Abuja have called on the Federal Government to come to their aid after the alleged assaults on their ladies by security personnel and the demolition of their houses that left many homeless, abused and stranded.
A resident, Mr. Sunday Okoro, said a night before the demolition took place,some security personnel stormed the village, arresting men and assaulting ladies, especially single ladies but were not informed that a demolition would take place the next day.
“Soldiers and many other security operatives came here yesterday night around 10:30-11pm and started arresting people, others ran into the bush but some unlucky ones were arrested and taken to SAS office. As I’m talking to you now, many of them who don’t have someone to bail them are still in SAS office. We don’t even know what they did”
“Yesterday morning, we saw people with bulldozers coming to demolish our buildings, some people were not even around especially those who go to work early in the morning. They destroyed so many things; we were not given the chance to carry out anything. Only few people managed to bring out few of their belongings”
“There are many family men here with their wives and children, there are women who just gave birth here few days ago that have been rendered homeless. Immediately after the demolition took place yesterday, it rained and many of them slept outside in the rain with their children because they don’t have anywhere to go.”
“Even me and my family we were stranded yesterday, I just had to take them to my brother’s house at Kpaduma village, tomorrow morning I will send them home to the village so that I can recover from this demolition before I will bring them back”.
“I feel the president is not aware of this demolition, we are begging president Buhari to help us because we don’t have anywhere to go, and even getting food to eat now is a challenge.” He said
Blessing Ogbuche a single lady who also lives in the area said her valuables went with the demolition. According to her, lack of funds has subjected her to stay in the village, she said she ran into the bush to avoid been assaulted by the security personnel, the day before.
She said “The day before the demolition took place, they came with soldiers, police, Mopols and started arresting and assaulting ladies. If you are alone in the room as a lady they will assault you and want to sleep with you, if you refuse they will start beating you.”
“We are really suffering in the hands of police here. Like that day, they were just molesting people and asking them for money; if you don’t have, they will just arrest you. Some of us had to run into the bush that night to escape from them.”
“They took us unaware and I even heard that they will be coming back next week but we really don’t know what to do because the economy is very hard”
“I feel they should have given us time to look for somewhere else to go or allow us travel to our villages, but they came and pulled down houses and destroyed our properties. They cant go to Maitama or Asokoro to do this but they are doing it here because its the poor masses that are living here.” she added.
Another resident, an electrician by profession who did not want his name mentioned, said he lost some of his valuables to the demolition.
He said “They did not give us any chance but we were able to pack some of our loads, they destroyed some and even took some away”
“I was at work when it happened but my place of work is not far from here so I quickly came home when someone called me that they were demolishing but I couldn’t bring out everything”, Another said.
“We don’t even have anywhere to go; we are sleeping outside with our loads, you can see how we are managing”
“They should stop the demolition because we are suffering. As they were demolishing, they said that “Abuja is not for everybody, that if you don’t have where to stay you should go back to your village” How can we go back to our villages, are we not Nigerian citizens too? He added.
Mrs. Igwe a resident and mother of two, expressed concern over the adverse effect of the demolition on her family as her house and business were destroyed.
“When the demolition took place I was not around, I traveled, my husband called me so I came back the next day and saw that our house and shop were destroyed but right now I’m more concerned about my children”
“We have been sleeping outside but sometimes we put the children in the car though it’s not very comfortable for them because as you can see some of our things are in the car too”
“The sleeping outside in the cold is going to make them sick and the other one is in school here at Primary school. The term has gone far and schools will soon start exams, which school will take him now. In fact, I don’t even know where to go now not to talk of looking for another school for him” she added.
The security personnel were not on ground at the time of the report and all efforts to reach them proved abortive.