The Remains of Kaduna Printing Village after demolition
Eight weeks after the first demolition exercise carried out in Kaduna State, Governor Nasir El-Rufai had commenced yet a second round exercise within the state metropolis.
He continued the exercise, demolishing over 100 shops around what is popularly known as the Printers Village – shops by Government Secondary School, Doka, Maiduguri Road (popularly Known as Obalande), Muri Road and Gwari Road, all in Kaduna North Local Government Area of the state.
Conscience Triumph recalls when shop owners were seen dismantling and moving out their properties – printing machines, zinc roofing sheets, doors and fittings, among others. Scavengers were also present at the site of the demolished buildings picking rods and other items for their own benefits.
Peter Seun, a shop owner, while expressing dissatisfaction over the ongoing demolition, decried government’s apathy despite their pleas. He added that, after he received the notice in August, he was not able to secure another place; stating that, the only option he had was to pack his printers and accessories at home, pending when he can pay for a new shop.
Seun further pointed out that, “Taking the printer out cost me more than N10,000 to hire a crane that could carry it. I have so many things on my head that I don’t know where to start from, but I thank God because all hopes are not lost; all my belongings are in intact, because I was able to move them out before the demolition began.”
In the same vein, Moses Usman, a friend to one of the shop owners, explained that his friend owned a shop but could not come to see how the shops were being demolished; as such, the friend requested his assistance to dismantle the shop.
“Some of the shop owners I know bought the space with large amount of money. I know of a woman who, immediately after her wedding, her husband bought her a shop here costing about N1.3 million,” he noted.
It would be recalled that El-Rufai, through the Interim Chairman, Kaduna North Local government Area, Ahmed Kurfi, in a letter dated 5th August, 2015, issued the occupants of the marked buildings/shops a two weeks’ quit notice. El-Rufai commenced the demolition exercise in Zaria city, demolishing about 93 houses at the Alhudahuda College area.
Reasons for pulling down these structures, according to government, were to recover lands belonging to public institutions.