Posted by News Express | 29 July 2016 | 2,499 times
Gbagyi Villa residents of Kaduna State have asked the State Government to drop the planned demolition of their houses that have been marked as illegal structures in the interest of peace in the state.
The residents of the community in Chikun Local Government Area, who staged a protest against the planned demolition on Thursday, insisted that they were the legal owners of the disputed land.
Carrying placards with various inscriptions and chanting anti-government songs, they demanded that the demolition plan be suspended, stating that the matter was already before a court of competent jurisdiction.
They claimed to be in possession of all relevant documents that gave them the right to occupy the land, insisting that the planned demolition was illegal and inhuman.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai had during a working visit to Gbagyi Villa, where the land was encroached upon, said that the state government would demolish all the houses built illegally on the land belonging to the Kaduna Polytechnic.
Although the residents have not presented their land titles to the relevant government agency, Governor El-Rufai said that the government was ready to recognise and protect every proven title to the land.
The leader of Gbagyi community, Chris Obodumu, noted that late Governor Patrick Yahowa in 2011, resolved the dispute and amicably demarcated the boundary between the two parties.
As the controversy lingers, a former Kaduna State Governor, Balarabe Musa, said that those claiming ownership of the land were not the genuine owners.
He advised the aggrieved residents to tread with caution, stating that the land in question was allocated to the Kaduna Polytechnic by the state government as a virgin land over 40 years, until some people started encroaching into it.
Mr Musa, however, urged the government to set up a committee for proper verification before the demolition.
The students of the Kaduna Polytechnic on their part held a peaceful protest where they commended Governor El-Rufai for assisting the institution to recover its land from encroachers.
President of the Student Union Government, Usman Kareem, expressed optimism that the land would solve the school’s myriad of accommodation problems if recovered.
•Text courtesy of Channels TV. Photo shows Governor El-Rufai.
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