Land Owners Demand Justice Over Seizure of Property by Govt
Hundreds of protesters on Thursday stormed the secretariat of Nigerian Union of Journalists in Kaduna, demanding justice from the Kaduna state government over what they perceived to be an ‘illegal acquisition’ of their lands.
They also accused the administration of El-Rufai for taking over their lands without due compensation and showing no feelings of sympathy.
The protesters, who were land-owners in Dan-Hono II – which is also known as the Millennium City – carried placards with various inscriptions such as, “El-Rufai is a cheat,” “Enough is enough,” “Leave our land for us,” El-Rufai is a dictator,” “Osinbajo! El-Rufai will tarnish your image,” “We demand justice.”
Spokesman of the group, Lucky Akpojosevbe, while addressing newsmen, said they came to the NUJ secretariat to let the public know about the injustice done to them by the El-Rufai’s administration; saying, they had duly acquired their lands for decades but the government confiscated it without compensating them.
He added that, as land owners of Dan-Hono II, they will not relent until justice is served, as their lands were forcefully taken over and given to the private developers under what the government called ‘Public Private Partnership (PPP)’ without due process.
He described the action of El-Rufai as ‘unjust, dictatorial, fraudulent, anti-people’ as well as ‘going against the change mantra of the Buhari-led APC government in the country.’
“We all voted for APC change with the high hope of getting a change for the better, but it is unfortunate that, the likes of Governor El-Rufai are spoiling the name of the APC change.”
Akpojosevbe also charged those affected in other areas of the state in this regard to come out and voice their grievances as well as demand justice.
Similarly, another land owner, Mansur Suleiman, also stressed that they will do everything possible to reclaim their lands, since the era of government impunity is over. “We will fight against government’s insensitivity, recklessness, and impunity and reclaim our lands, since we have the right under the sun to fight, secure and keep our lawful property.
Reacting to the protest, the Director-General, Kaduna Geographic Information System (KADGIS), Ibrahim Hussaini, said the state government will pay compensation to ‘those that have their land papers intact’ as soon as the money is ready.
He said the essence of the exercise is to clear the area for the 500 mass housing scheme for civil servants in the state; while warning village heads not to sell government land again as there are many cases of illegal sales of land on ground.