One dies, many injured as bulldozers demolish Kaduna community - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Tuesday, May 23, 2023

One dies, many injured as bulldozers demolish Kaduna community

A woman  reportedly died while other residents of Gbagyi Villa community in Kaduna sustained varying degrees of injuries during a protest.

The residents were protested against the agents of Kaduna State  Government who embarked on the demolition of Gbaygi Villa residential complex on the outskirts of Kaduna metropolis. 

According to a source , "youth groups and other inhabitants of the area, and from neighbourhood came out to protest against the demolition of houses and other structures, when they sited bulldozers and armed security men who were deployed for the exercise."

"The uniform men started shooting to scare the resilient youths who were chanting songs and slogans, away. On hearing the news of the demolition and the gunshots, a woman simply identified as Sarah collapsed as her blood pressure was believed to have shot up, "

"She was rushed to the hospital for medical attention, but unfortunately she couldn't make it and she died before getting to the hospital."

"The youths that massively came out to defend the Gbaygi villa from demolition vowed to take their lives into their hands to defend the community and defend the court judgement said to have been earlier secured by the residents of the community against the demolition exercise."

 Lukas Daniel, a resident, said that "if the authority that is supposed to defend the judgement is now rising against the community in total disobedience to the judgment, we wonder the kind of society we are living, and the legacy Government is bequething."

" Though some houses had been demolished while the youths were resisting, but eventually the resilient youths prevailed and KASUPDA with their security men retreated with a promise to return on a surprise attack, perhaps at night."

Also, another resident, Haruna  said that "the same government that imposed hard time on the masses is now out to round off by causing more havoc in destroying the little roof we have over our heads.Following the court judgment in favour of Gbagyi Villa community, El-rufai asked us to fill a form for regularization at the cost of N20,000 and majority had done that."

"Again just about ten days ago, KASUPDA brought a letter that El-Rufa'i had ordered that all building approval obtained before the court case is null and void, asking us to go and start fresh building approval processes from beginning, with new building plan reading date not earlier than the month of May, 2023."

" He gave us sixty days to start the process through KASUPDA and we are ready to comply; as we have visited the KASUPDA to commence the fresh process of approval for our houses including those who had prior approval, but KASUPDA officials said the forms are not yet ready."

"It is not yet sixty days based on the notice KASUPDA gave us and we didn't even say we are not ready to abide by the obnoxious policy just to keep peace. They are the people that are not even ready with the forms needed: yet this afternoon the same Kaduna State government through the same KASUPDA invaded Gbagyi Villa and started demolition of houses, if not that we took our lives into our hands and resisted with the support of youths from the other communites around. Though they still vowed to come back for the demolition exercises."

"See now an innocent law abiding woman, managing her BP had been sent to her untimely grave! Why? Why? Why? Must APC just be about inflicting unbearable pains on the masses?" he asked. 

"It's of note that at the begining of the tenure of El-Rufa'i in 2015 he invaded Gbagyi Villa and vowed to demolish the over 3,500 houses and 40 churches already built in the community."

"The landlord association took the matter before a court of competent jurisdiction and won the case after about Seven years in court. Also many Organizations both within and outside the country including but not limited to Amnesty International intervened on the side of the community."

" Even House of Representatives committee also intervened on behalf of the community. But unfortunately this is happening again at the end of the tenure of El-rufai, provoking the unprovoked peaceful people of Gbagyi Villa, few days to handing over when government supposed to sue for peace considering the tension in the country."

It could be recalled that in an official letter by the Director-General of Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Authority (KASUPDA), Ismail Umaru-Dikko, dated April 20, 2023, the agency demanded the urgent release of N29,253,500 for the demolition 

The memo by KASUPDA entitled ‘Request For Clearance To Carry out Pending Demolition Exercise’, listed the properties of IMN, UBE schools, Damau Household Farms owned by Dangote Dairy Farm, Gbagyi Villa, Ali Scorpion House, Oriapata and Polo Club Stable at Ugwan Doka.

Others were at Architect Namadi Sambo Road, Danbushiya Layout and General Hospital, Kawo.

Among the reasons given by the authority for embarking on the demolition were the ban placed on the Islamic group, encroachment on schools’ landed properties, non-compliance on special regularisation programme, dilapidated structural failure, urban renewal and upgrade, encroachments and illegal subdivision.

"Out of the N29,253,500 to be expended on the exercise, N20,253,500 will be used to demolish IMN properties. The governor is invited to kindly consider the above and approve the release of the estimated funds to enable the authority execute these pending tasks," KASUPDA stated.

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