By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna
About 18 people in six communities of Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State have lost their lives through alleged unjustifiable and inhuman treatment they received from staff of the state government responsible with land matters.
The land owners from Danhono, Sabon Gida, Gidan Daji, Danbushiya, Kadaure and Unguwar Ma’aji in Chikun Local Government Area of the state have petitioned Governor Nasir el-Rufai to use his good office to stop all private developers from carrying out any activity until the matter was amicably resolved.
The affected land owners have also appealed to Governor el-Rufai that they should be given their full plots back within acquired area or adjacent the proposed government development in the Millennium City.
The affected area has for years being in dispute when the affected residents alleged that during the era of the then Governor Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi-led administration, the government acquired and compensated some of the above mentioned districts in Chikun.
They alleged that after the acquisition and compensation was paid to the land owners, some government workers involved in all the atrocities started telling the traditional rulers of the area concerned that the state government no longer had interest on the land.
They asserted that during the era of late Governor Patrick Yakowa, all the government staff responsible on land matters and the public were addressed by late governor that the land that belongs to the state government.
The alleged land owners noted that after the death of governor Yakowa, the selling of the acquired land owned by the state government resurfaced under the leadership of Mukhtar Ramalan Yero by the same prepetrators.
They also alleged that the prepetrators started misinforming the people immediately el-Rufai was sworn-in as the governor of the state, stressing, “Based on the misinformation received from the perpetrators that governor el-Rufai decided to build 2,000 housing units through private developers on our land thinking the land belongs to the state government.
“Unknowingly His Excellency invited the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the person of Osinbajo to launch the 2,000 housing units, knowing fully well that the land owners will not agree to this, they now called the traditional rulers and asked them to call few of us so they can beg us to let the Vice President launch the 2,000 housing units without any hitch or revolt because they want to use our land because the site the said housing units is to be built is deep within the bush.
“We gladly agreed to save our governor from any embarrassment, thereby letting the Vice President lay the foundation, our demise and our transition from land owners to land scratchers from business men/women to paupers.
“Two months after the commissioning of the 2,000 housing units by the Vice President, the staff of the Ministry of Land started surveying and subsequently awarding our land to private developers without compensating us. Telling us that they are taking directions from His Excellency, Malam Nasir el-Rufai.
“We tried all avenues to see the governor through the Ministry of Land and other means without success. We wrote series of letters to His Excellency, stating our predicament with no response.
“It was then we decided to stage a peaceful demonstration to narrate our own side of the story. When they heard about the peaceful demonstration knowing fully well that demonstration will not auger well with them if His Excellency gets to hear our side of the story, they then made an arrangement for us to meet the Director General of Land in order to delay us and buy time.
“Sir, in all fairness and justice our confiscated land was given out to private developers to develop, they have started erecting signboards boldly advertising the sale of the said land at the rate of Four Million, Fifty thousand Naira per 50 by 100 plots.
“Where is the justification of the act by the Director General and his staff? This action is unjustifiable and inhuman.”
They solicited for a meeting with all stakeholders together with His Excellency regarding the matter.
Efforts by New Nigerian’s correspondent to reach one of those whose number was given from the Ministry of Land to give his side of the story proved abortive as calls were not connecting after several efforts.