There has been so much conversation since the recent spate of nightclub police arrests started in Abuja.
Recently, with the help of police and a taskforce team, the Federal Capital Development Administration (FCTA) invaded a popular night club, Caramelo, located at Utako district of Abuja, demolished part of the structure and arrested over 30 nude dancers. A similar raid also followed about a week later.
On their part, The Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Mallam Umar Shuaibu, in a media report, said that operators of the night clubs contravened the law by converting residential buildings for other purposes. Shuaibu said the Department of Development Control had to demolish the fence of the compound as another form of warning to the owners of the club, while the arrested dancers would be handed over to the Social Development Secretariat for rehabilitation.
He said: “It is a flagrant abuse of the city plan and violation of the relevant clause (Viii ) of the building plan approval granted, and clause No.2 (ii) of the letter of Offer of Grant on this plot. The contravening activities will cease henceforth and the allottee will revert the use of the building to the health clinic so designated and approved.”
He further said: “In response to security reports and complaints from the residents of area adjoining the location of Caramelo Night Club on plot 630 Cadastral zone B05, along T.O.S Benson Street, within Utako District , the authority deployed its officers to carry out surveillance in order to validate the complaints.
The outcome of the surveillance revealed that the complaints are genuine and real. The reported complaints include noise nuisance from loud party music, nude/strip dancing club activities, intractable traffic challenge resulting from uncontrolled patronage to the commercial nightclub within the residential precinct.
“You may wish to note that the plot under reference is zoned as health clinic on the Utako District Land use Plan, and in line with this plan, the building plan approval granted was for the development of the health clinic. Accordingly, the property was developed as a health clinic.
However, the use of the building has been changed to a commercial night club.” Shuaibu noted that the authority has repeatedly engaged the operator of Caramelo and other operators across, on the need to quit the operation of night club within residential precinct, to no avail.
He vowed that the administration will not renege on its duty to protect and maintain the sanctity of the Abuja Master Plan, and will continue to ensure that the city remain a safe place for living, working and recreating for all its residents and citizenry.
Also, the Acting Secretary, Social Development Secretariat (SDS), Hajia Safiya Umar, said the owner of the club would be punished according to the law, considering the calibre of girls arrested.
While there were complaints about the security handling of some of the ladies who were arrested, and of which we are also aware that the police has promised to investigate, it is important that businesses and organisations whose activities will pose as a source of discomfort to the environment, especially residential environments abide by the rules.
Apart from clubs, there are also a lot of complaints about the disturbances from churches, mosques and other businesses that cause air and noise pollutions.
According to Shuaibu the council is set to remove lounges and clubs in residential areas to curb the menace of noise pollution in the territory.
He said that they have also ordered the demolition of Lounges located at Kampala Street Cadastral Zone A08, also at Wuse 2 District.
“As a follow-up to this, and in order to ensure inclusionary governance process to address this city management challenges, a meeting was convened on the instruction of the FCTA with majority of the night club operators.
“The operators include Messrs Caramelo Lounge, Utako, Jorany/Passport Lounge, Xtacy Lounge, De Point Lounge, House of Freeda, Neiverder Lounge, and Midnight Lounge all at Wuse 2.
“The meeting was to enlighten the operators on how their lounge/night club activities amount to contravention of the city’s Master Plan.
“Also, the meeting is to discuss the need to revert the use of the premises to its designated residential use,’’ he said.
All concerned bodies are encouraged to be abide by the rule in order to prevent such issues in the future where their properties will have to be demolished.\
By Ojonugwa Felix Ugboja