Why Arewa Youth, Others Are Hailing el-Rufai Over Demolition Of Intruders Structures On Eye Centre Land

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Governor Nasir el-Rufai


By; KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna


Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai on Friday directed the execution of the 2011 court judgement which ordered for demolition of all illegal structures on National Eye Centre’s land.
The Governor through the Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Authority (KASUPDA) Saturday morning, pulled down structures illegally acquired from some dubious host community members in compliance with the court ruling which found the defendants guilty of criminally intruding, selling and in some cases buying Federal Government property belonging to National Eye Centre.
The quagmire that has characterised the National Eye Centre land as a result of  dubious persons who invaded  and sold off part of the land has  lingered for over a decade with litigations and violent threats from intruders.
It would be recalled that,  the perennial land tussle orchestrated by these land grabbers with the tacit collusion of some greedy members of the host communities who were compensated and resettled by the Federal Government at the point of acquiring the land for the hospital.
 it’s a case of these people eating their cake and wanting to have it back. They keep intruding on National Eye Centre’s land beating the imagination of others that anyone would fight Government’s genuine intention to make available an Eye Hospital of International standard and size.

As these illegal structures go down, rational thinkers within and outside the host communities have continued to thank Kaduna State Government for its timely intervention stressing that most of such illegal structures were completely abandoned giving shelter for kidnappers and armed robbers who  tormented the area for years.
 Speaking with a 79 years old landlord of Asalamaleku settlement who refused to mention his name for security reasons, said, ” I knew the story of National Eye Centre back then when General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida gave compensation of that land to most of my brothers whose lands were taken for National Eye Centre. Few of them told their children while others hid the compensation they collected from Government from family associates even their children didn’t know how much they collected. So you see, most of these boys that have intruded to sell off  Eye Centre land had benefited directly or indirectly from the first compensation, whether their parents or elder brothers or uncles gave them such monies or not Government cannot compensate you twice on one piece of land. Funny enough some of them are still alive.
“Today kidnappers and armed robbers will have no hideout to terrorise our people, because when Eye Centre management won the court case and was to dislodge these intruders, most of them abandoned their building projects.” 
Also speaking, the Chairman Arewa Youth Movement for Good Governance Kaduna State Chapter, Comrade Ibrahim Ahmadu hailed Governor Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai for the demolition exercise stressing it was long overdue.
According to him, “how can people  who were given compensation for two consecutive times still be laying claim to National Eye Centre land. 
“Most of them notoriously started farming on the land after compensation, from there they started selling the land to unsuspecting people in 2011, National Eye Centre management dragged them to court and got judgement against them they quickly begged and asked for time to leave, but instead, they continued selling and threatening National Eye Centre staff.”
 “Honestly,  the execution of this court judgement is long overdue those people are even a security threat to the people living around there. We support el-Rufai’s demolition of such  illegal structures that seek to deprive us good health and I call on all Kaduna youth to shun the planned protest as this will put the Arewa Youth Movement in bad light. We all know the worth of National Eye Centre. Permit me to assure the National Hospital of our readiness as Arewa Youth to rise in defence of  it by every means available under the law.”
“We call on Kaduna State Government to prosecute Airtel Telecommunication Company for breaking into National Eye Centre fence and erecting its mast without any notice to the Hospital, I tell you Airtel won’t do that in the Western or Eastern part of Nigeria but because in the North our people can be loose so they feel, any thing goes.” Ahmadu added.
With this latest development the time is ripe for the Hospital to work for the next generations where population explosion will no doubt put pressure on existing facilities.  The hospital must after solidifying its fence to protect it against future intruders must vigorously review its master plan to give hope for future generations, the national Eye Centre’s master plan is ideal.
 It would be recalled that, the need for adequate number of highly skilled Ophthalmologists and Ophthalmic nurses  need not  be over emphasized. 
This, including the fact that the hospital is the apex training Institution  for eye care in Nigeria makes the need for a post graduate medical school  imperative. 
The school will expectedly address the herculean task of continuously training  ophthalmologists known in everyday parlance as eye doctors to meet the demand of rising number of Nigerians who yearn for eye care services. 
The Postgraduate Medical School is one key component of the National Eye Centre’s master plan and estimated to admit two hundred students.
Given the flow of visitors to National Eye Centre vis a vis the challenge of accommodation, the National Eye Centre’s Master Plan has a Grade 1 guest house for visitors and others. With her original land space, the hospital plan included a 100 rooms guest house .
The plan also includes hostels for 200 postgraduate medical students and 500 Post Graduate Nursing and Paramedical Students.
 With evolving technology, the hospital needs a CT Scan suite and other facilities which though are not in the original plan, are imperative for best practices in line with today’s global trends in eye care. 
All these  require massive land space which in the wisdom of government, was provided for in acquiring land mass for  the hospital. 
In addition, the plan provided for various categories of staff quarters which only a small percentage of the total is presently on ground.   
A standard staff school is also in the plan. As at today, only the core hospital complex, a small percentage of the staff quarters, mosque and chapel all in the original plan are in place.

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