Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State on Tuesday denied rumours making the rounds that he was planning to demolish all illegal structures in the state.
He, however, insisted that houses built on government-owned schools and hospitals’ lands would be demolished in order to recover the affected lands.
It would be recalled that El-Rufai had in the second edition of a town Hall meeting in Zaria, initiated by his administration to interface with residents, threatened to demolish illegal structures on government-owned schools, starting from Thursday.
Explaining the rationale behind the decision, the governor said that his mission was to recover government lands that were illegally acquired from state-owned schools and hospitals, assuring the people of the state not to entertain any fear.
The assurance was necessary because during the electioneering campaigns, El-Rufai, who is famous for his restoration of the Abuja Master Plan as Minister of the FCT during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, promised that he won’t demolish peoples’ houses if elected governor of the state.
The governor, who made the clarification through his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, while briefing journalists at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna on Tuesday, said since his remarks at the Zaria Town Hall meeting, some people had gone about on a campaign of calumny alleging that he was going to demolish houses in the state
He said, “Since after the Town Hall meeting in Zaria on Sunday, some people have started a campaign of calumny that el-Rufai has come to embark on demolition of houses in Kaduna, but to set the records straight, we are only asking those who illegally occupied government-owned institutions’ lands to vacate the lands.
“This government cannot allow the encroachment on schools and hospitals lands to continue. For instance, when we visited the state library in Zaria and Alhudahuda College, private buildings have almost taken over the institutions. This has serious effect on the learning atmosphere in such institutions.
“Alhudahuda College, for instance, is over 100 years in existence, but if we allow the type of encroachment going on there to continue, the school might go into extinction in the next 30 years.
“We have given them notice and it will expire on Wednesday, August 5. We will only recover the lands for the future of our children. The public lands belong to the good people of Kaduna State and we must recover it before it is late”.
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