The Chairman of Gbagyi Villa Property Owners Association, Mr Chris Obudumu, has appealed to Gov. Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State to reconsider his proposed demolition of the area and instead provide them with the basic amenities and infrastructure they are yearning for.
Obudumu, who made the appeal while interacting with newsmen in Kaduna on Thursday, also called for peaceful resolution of the lingering issue through dialogue.
According to him, five people have already lost their lives due to fear, anxiety and the psychological torture the people of the community were subjected to since El-yRufai announced plan to demolish the area.
The governor had during a visit to Gbagyi Villa, a suburb of Kaduna metropolis, in July 2016, said that the community would be demolished because it was illegally built on Kaduna Polytechnic land.
Obudumu, said that 3,500 houses with a population of about 15,000 would be affected if the governor went ahead with his plan.
He, however, insisted that the people of the community are law abiding citizens and went into the area lawfully.
“We did not break any law by coming into the community; we followed due process and our stay in the community was approved by a sitting legitimate government of the state.
“A Kaduna High Court had in March ruled that Gbagyi villa was built on community land and not on Kaduna Polytechnic land as insisted by the governor.
“The court has ruled that the white paper issued in 2011 by Late Ibrahim Yakowa’s Government in resolving the issue is valid.
“That the boundary demarcation between Kaduna Polytechnic land and Gbagyi Villa by the Surveyor General of Kaduna State in 2011 is valid.
“The court also established that Kaduna Polytechnic has built a fence around its own plots of the land, and so do not have a case against the community.
“Based on this ruling, we see no reason why the governor insisted on demolishing the community,’’he said.
Obudumu said that the determination of the governor to demolish the community in spite of the court ruling has forced the community to keep approaching the court to get justice.
“The matter is still in court for determination as to whether the governor has the right to demolish Gbagyi Villa being a community sanctioned by the state government.”
The chairman said that all the people of the community want was a peaceful resolution of the dispute.
“We want him to sit and dialogue with us; we believe if that is done he would see things differently, because what the community need is basic infrastructure and not demolition.
“We don’t have water, no school, no health facility, and no road. We have nothing government in Gbagyi Villa. Even the electricity that we enjoy was community effort.” he added.
Members of the community numbering about 5,000 were in court for the pre- trial conference on Wednesday, but the court did not sit following the demise of Justice Bashir Sukola of the state’s High Court.
The case has been adjourned to Dec. 12.
Sukola died late Tuesday evening after a brief illness and was buried on Wednesday morning according to Islamic rights.