The Nigerian Army has told those accusing it of land grabbing with regard to its landed property in parts of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, that it legally acquired and that if they had any complaints such should be channelled through the appropriate quarters.
Buratai spoke at the foundation laying ceremony for construction of the “Army Command Estate and Headquarters, Directorate of Army Legal Services’’ at Muhammadu Buhari Cantonment at Giri on the air port road on Tuesday, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai told the indigenes who barricaded the Air Port road, alleging the army grabbed their land that their action would not yield any result.
He said: “This particular estate (land) was granted to the Nigerian army in 1979. However, we got the official allocation with the Right of Occupancy (C of O) in 1997 by the Federal Capital Administration.
“In 2011, when all land in the territory were revoked and owners of land were directed to re-certify their land, the Nigerian army along with other services, Navy and Air Force, duly applied for the re-certification.
“We paid the dues that was meant for the re-certification and got our acknowledgment. That is to say that we have legally and timely certified this particular land.
“So, any move to disrupt our activities here (ongoing construction work on the land) is going to be fruitless. We have all the legal backing.’’
He said that all the documents of the land were with the Abuja Geographical Information Service – AGIS, of the FCT and advised those alleging the army grabbed their land to channel to their complaint to the appropriate quarters rather than protesting and barricading highways.
Recall that a coalition of FCT indigenous associations recent accused the army of grabbing their land and protested to the National Assembly and the office of the Minister of FCT over the issue.
They claimed that the army wanted to collect their land located at Zuba, Iddo, Sabo and Tuga Maje, all on Airport Road.
Meanwhile, construction is already at the site. It is expected that the newly established Headquarters of Army Aviation corps, Women corps, Space Command, and officers and soldiers quarters, among others would be housed on the site.
Buratai charged reminded the men of the military’s importance in democratic dispensation, saying that they “must defend democracy.’’ He also stressed that democracy remained the best system of governance.
“We are much, much better in democracy than any other system. We must ensure that we perform our constitutional responsibilities with all the seriousness it deserves.
“We must all ensure that all our ongoing operations are stepped up.
“The insecurity that we are facing in the North East and other parts of the country require more initiative and require us to think of the box to get the right solution,’’ he said