Tears in Zarin as El-rufa’I  insists on demolishing Igbo shops

Hundreds of Igbo traders on Saturday protested in Zaria against the  demolition of their shops and business premises by the Kaduna State Urban Development Authority (KASUPA) on account of the ongoing construction of Sabon –Gari to Samaru road.

KASUPDA  had  earlier  gave last  weekend  as deadline for the traders to vacate their shops  or risk having them demolished .

The traders who converged at  No 1,  Sokoto road  to protest the  Government action,  said it  is  unfair and unjustifiable  for KASUPDA  to   demolish  their  shops without  recourse to lawful procedures.

Spokesman of the traders Mr. Emmanuel  Mathew told  said that  “ We are not  resisting  government directives but we are challenging  the manner in  which KASUPDA  directed that we shall vacate  the area without adequate notice.’’

He said that  Kaduna state government officially , issued them with  a notice of  re- adjustment of  any building structure  at the road site  to three to six meters away  from the main road where  all the traders did to the satisfaction  of  project’s  engineers.

“ Suddenly, KASUPDA  came up with a  short notice  of  vacation  from the area entirely’’ .

“We have tried all possible best to meet the  Zaria  manager of  KASUPDA but  he refused to grant  us audience, but we  have already informed our Igbo s leaders,  Council caretaker  Chairman , District Head of Sabon Gari and we put  all security  agents on notice’’.

He said that  traders   suspected  that some  group  within  El-rufai government must have either  misinformed  him or he is completely ignorant of the flight of the traders on  the issue.

“ Our prayer to   El-rufa’I  government is  to stop the demolition of our shops and Business Structures hence it hasn’t affect the ongoing  road  work,’’ he pleaded.

He said “Igbo’s are   peace loving people , law abiding citizens  and  contributors  to nation growth as such we shall be always treated with respect not  subjected to  unnecessary   insult and  humiliation’’.

Reacting, an official of KASUPDA  on condition of anonymity  said“ We are  working on the instruction of  Governor Mallam Nasiru  El-rufa’I , We have  been directed to demolished the Shops and we  served  traders with vacation notice three weeks ago, so what are they complaining about?.’’
He said  the  projects supposed to be completed  six month ago but  because of their failure to vacate the area , the road work is stand still“ we don’t care how they view it , we must demolished all structure to allow  speedy completion of the projects’’.

“ We  are directed to demolished shops whether the traders  pack out or not, they stand to loose all their belongings failure to comply with the our order, so it is left to them’’. The Official has  warned.

Cross section of the  residents interviewed  cautioned  government against   taking any  action capable of causing tension and crises. Mr Thomas  Mazi, a  civil servant said “We have been studying the situation, and I feel there is nothing wrong if you give the traders time to pack their property, we are in a critical financial difficulties it  will be unfair to treat people badly’’.

On her part, Mrs.  Halima Babangida, trader at Post Office, said“ El-Rufai should have a listening  ear,  should be consider and  intervene in this matter so that other people should not cheated’’.

The spokesman of the Kaduna state Governor, Mr Samuel Aruwa,  not pick  calls put through by for confirmation.

Hassan Usman Author

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