Gbagyi Villa Property Owners Association, Kaduna state, has described as prejudicial and usurpation of executive powers the recent threat by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state to demolish over 3,500 houses in Gbagyi Villa in Kaduna South.
Also describing it as ‘executive impunity’ and ‘disrespect to rule of law,’ the Association, in a statement issued in Kaduna, said if Governor El-Rufai could close door of justice on them, he cannot close door on God, who is the liberator of the oppressed.
“We call on you to be fair to everyone. We may be powerless against you in the protection of our property rights, but all power belongs to God Almighty.” Signed by its chairman, Chris Obodumu Abba, the Association said, “If you will not allow the court to hear our complaint, you may close door of justice on us but be assured that you cannot close our access to the Throne of the Almighty God, who is the liberator of the oppressed,” they said.
They further informed the governor that, “we did not vote for you to come and take away our rights and deprive us of the opportunities for the court to hear our cries and determine our rights.”
They lamented that even though the governor came to their community and called them ‘criminals,’ the allegations that the Villa is an encroachment on Polytechnic land was clearly an afterthought.
The body queried the governor that if encroachment was the problem, “why has your government not sworn demolition over the open encroachment rights at the back of students’ affairs block of the Polytechnic main campus in T/Wada in Kaduna?” “Why has your government not sworn demolition over the open encroachment into the Poly Farm at Narayi Village?” they quizzed.
According to the body, they are Nigerian citizens living on their ancestral land on which their forefathers deforested, lived, farmed, died and buried, while decrying that but part of their land was forcefully taken over by the state government, which then built Kaduna Polytechnic, without any compensation to them.
But even as they are groaning over the alleged government seizure of their land, the Association posited that, “We did not complain because we welcome development, since such an institution would serve the larger interest of the general public.”
However, they argued that the Villa has a minor history of boundary dispute with the Polytechnic between 2009 and 2011, but was settled by Governor Patrick Yakowa (of blessed memory)’s intervention, and a White Paper was issued that clearly re-established the boundary between the Villa and Kadpoly with a sketch plan produced and signed by Surveyor-General of Kaduna state to that effect.
The Association said they had sought for, and obtained, court order restraining Governor El-Rufai and other government agencies from demolition of their houses pending the determination of the case, after the service of the planned demolition notice was pasted in the community.