Palpable fear has enveloped Karu community in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), over allegations of distorting the original development plans at Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in the area by the council’s Chairman, Mr Abdullahi Candido.
Investigations by Tribune Online revealed that there was ongoing illegal construction of shops, meant for commercial purposes within the premises of the PHC, which was allegedly approved by the chairman.
It was also learnt some indigenous leaders in the community believed that the construction was not only an infraction but an executive error that would adversely affect the public interest.
In a letter of protest, however, to the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, a copy of which was obtained by Tribune Online, on Sunday in Abuja, the community alleged that the chairman disregarded the community’s concerns and continued with the illegal project, with a view to sacrificing public interest and satisfy the desires of few of his political associates.
The letter which was jointly signed by Messrs Shekwaga Ayinsa, James Babe, Esq, Samuel Aye, Sunday Karu and Samson Zhokwo, alleged that the PHC commissioned in 1994, had been begging for renovation and possibly expansion due to the ever-growing population in the community.
It reads in parts: “We, the undersigned members of Karu Community within the AMAC write to complain against the ongoing construction of shops by AMAC, within the premises of PHC, a public facility that is meant to cater for the health needs of the community members and the general public.
“We kindly write to your office to demand an immediate investigation and cancellation of the said project. Moreso, that this project is not in line with the primary purpose of the establishment of the Karu PHC.
“The healthcare centre has provided succour to the health challenges of members of the community, especially pregnant women and elderly ones, who go there for their routine check-ups, due to its proximity to their homes.” The letter added.
Reacting to the development, Head, Department of Works, AMAC, Architect Gaza Andrew, debunked claims that the shops were for commercial purposes.
He said the project was rather a completion and upgrade of over 10 years abandoned Sickle Cell, public convenience with pharmacy shop within the premises of the PHC.
Andrew, who reacted through WhatsApp messenger, insisted that the existing structure was dilapidated and weak, and could not be continued, which explains why entirely new structures were being erected.
He confirmed that the activities at the construction site have been stopped since two months ago, due to the intervention of the FCT Development Control Department (DCD) that issued a stop-work notice on the site.
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