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Kaduna residents worried over El-Rufai’s threat to demolish illegal structures

By Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief   |   05 August 2015   |   3:56 am  
Nasir El-Rufai

Nasir El-Rufai

RESIDENTS of Kaduna are worried about plans by the state Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, to commence the demolition of illegal residential structures built on government land.

El-Rufai said that the government would begin the demolition of illegal structures built on land owned by the state hospitals and schools, after the expiration of quit notice given to the occupants.

In another development, the governor has declared free and compulsory primary and junior secondary school education in the state public schools, while asking parents that any principal found collecting fees from pupils or students should be reported to government for prompt action.

Speaking during his second town hall meeting held in Zaria, El-Rufai explained that government will continue to interact with the people to brief them on the administration’s activities and get advice from them on how to govern the state effectively.

He advised occupants of the illegal structures to vacate the properties, warning that his administration would not support encroachment on government land.

He said: “Illegal structures on land owned by Zaria Library, Alhudahuda College, Rimi College, Sardauna Memorial College and other schools will be demolished as the quit notice expires on Wednesday 5th August. Those who built such illegal structures are knowledgeable enough to know that encroaching on land owned by schools is prohibited. There is no going back on pulling down such illegal structures especially in our schools and hospitals.”

While responding to a question on indigenes and settlers in the state, El-Rufai said Kaduna belongs to all, adding that, “all citizens of the state are entitled to stay anywhere and benefit from the state.”

El-Rufai further explained why the government stopped the sponsorship of pilgrimages to Mecca and Israel, saying that the funds meant for this would be used to provide quality education, functional hospitals as well as other infrastructures in the state.

“Government cannot expend its funds on pilgrimage because it is a personal affair to individuals. Whoever wants to go to Hajj or Israel should sponsor him or herself as government will no longer use public funds for such purpose.”

On the ban on street begging and hawking, the governor pointed out that his action was based on advice from security concern, adding that government has visited various rehabilitation centres to rehabilitate the existing structures where beggars and the destitute would be trained to be self-reliant.

“The ban was for the good of all citizens. After the Zaria bombing, there was security report that insurgents have perfected ways whereby they use hawkers and beggars for their nefarious acts. The insurgents give them some token to drop lethal objects and the innocent hawkers and beggars carry out the action without knowing the consequence. This and other reasons for the ban was to protect citizens of the state.”

Some of the owners of the affected structures who attended the meeting appealed to the governor for mercy, saying that they were allocated land to build their houses by the previous governments in the state.



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