A community, under the auspices of Danhono II in Sabin Garin Danhono/Ma’aji Land Owners Committee, on Monday barricaded the main road in large numbers to register their protest against alleged continued illegal sale of government land located at the Kaduna Millennium City.
The group, who accused Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency (KASUPDA), Kaduna State Development Property Company (KSDPC), and Ministry of Lands of masterminding the sales of the land through their partners like district heads of the areas, previous land owners and their agents, said 18 natives have died due to land encroachment caused by Director-General (D-G) of Lands.
A protest letter addressed to Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state, and presented by the Committee chairman, Mansur Suleiman, stated that the genesis of the land scam started during Governor Ahmed Muhammed Makarfi administration.
“The genesis or history of the land acquisition and the deception within Daji, Kadaure, Angwan Ma’aji and Danhono 1 and 2, and Sabon Garin Danhono, started during the era of Governor Ahmed Makarfi-led administration.”
The protest letter further mentioned that, “Makarfi acquired and compensated some of the above mentioned districts, all in Chikun local government area of Kaduna state,” adding that, “however, part of Angwan Ma’aji, Danhono II and Sabon Garin Danhono were not part of the acquisition.”
The committee chairman also noted that, the deception started after the acquisition and compensations were paid to land owners, pointing out that “the deceptors were, and are still, the staffs of KASUPDA, KSDPC and that of the Ministry of Lands, Kaduna state.”
He continued that “they started selling the acquired land belonging to the state government through their partners in game, i.e., district heads of the areas, agents, and some other previous land owners.”
The chairman further stated that government workers involved in all the deals started by telling the traditional rulers of the affected areas that state government was no longer interested in the land, which was supported by rulers – out of the ignorance!
According to the Committee, the development continued during the administration of Governors Namadi Sambo, Patrick Yakowa, Ramallam Yero, respectively, but were embarrassed when the above mentioned perpetrators were invited during Yakowa era, only to resume under Yero.
For fear of El-Rufai, the scammers resulted into misinforming the governor, based on which El-Rufai decided to build 2,000 housing units through private developers in the area, which happened to be the land belonging to the land owners in the community.
“Unknowingly, El-Rufai invited the Vice President, Prof. Osinbajo, to launch the 2,000 housing units. But knowing full well 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 allow VP to launch without any hitch or revolt, because they knew it was our land they want to use; the site that is deep in the bush is our own,” he stated.
The committee said when it dawned on them that D-G Lands was deceiving them in all the information given them during meetings held with him severally, and with good promises that turned out to be false, that was when all efforts made to see Governor El-Rufai were thwarted, and the story changed.
Contacted, the Sariki of the area, Jetro Ahmadu, was said to be absent, his loyalists and neighbourhood, however, confirmed the allegations, saying land owners were compensated promptly before development took place during Makarfi regime, but expressed surprise that after government officials’ assessment visit, nothing was seen done again under El-Rufai.
They, therefore, demand full compensation for their lands before being allocated to any developer, or the lands be returned back all their owners and, henceforth, stop any development on the lands.