FCT residents protest location of infectious diseases cemetery

Residents associations of estates around Galadima roundabout and Games Village in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have protested the location of the infectious diseases cemetery.

A spokesman for the Sun City estate, one of the estates located within the vicinity, Mr Gbenga Ambali, who spoke during a visit to the site of the proposed cemetery on Monday, said residents were worried about its potential health hazards.

Ambali said, “We have to make our stand known to the government in respect of the infectious disease cemetery that is planned to be located very close to us around Galadima roundabout on your way to Games Village.

“We want to make it very clear that this would not be good for us for the reason that in most of this neighbourhood, our source of potable water is bore hole. So, if we have an infectious disease cemetery around us, we are not safe.

“We want our government to rethink and have a change of mind on this. The issue of the COVID-19 that we are all facing right now, nobody knows the full details of this disease. So, bringing it down close to us will be creating additional problems in the future.”

He added, “We also understand that if we are not safe, the government is not safe. Please, government take away the planned cemetery for infectious disease around us so all of us can live well.”

The spokesman for Golden Spring Estate, Rear Admiral Ferguson Bobai (retd.), said, “We felt that this is worrisome. Nobody can tell us what the effect of that kind of cemetery portends for residents of the area in a short time not to talk of in a long term.

“Just like infectious hospitals are mostly outside residential areas, we want to appeal to the government that same can be done for cemeteries of that nature. We are not only dealing with CODVID-19 now but its effect in the future.”

 In his address during the march, a representative of Ammsco Platinum Estate Residents’ Association, Kayode Akande, said the attention of the residents was drawn to the plan when the contractor given the contract to prepare the ground moved to site.

He said, “Yesterday (Sunday), one of the residents, who happens to have the permission to go out on emergency services, called me to ask if I was aware of the  work going on very close to our estate, that an infectious disease cemetery was being built?”

“We made contacts and we confirmed that work was going on there; we tried to reach out to other estates around and incidentally all of us happened to have the information almost at the same time.

“We learnt that the place was already designed for a cemetery in the master plan but we are saying if that is the situation, that should be an ordinary cemetery. This one that we are talking about is an infectious disease cemetery.”

The residents appealed to the Federal Capital Territory Administration to have a rethink and relocate the proposed cemetery far away from residential arrears.

The media aide to the FCT Minister, Sani Abubakar, referred all inquiries to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, saying, “It is a national issue.”
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