From Sahabo Garba, Bauchi
The on-going demolishing exercise affecting over 19 towns and villages within the FCT belonging to innocent poor Nigerians at this particular period of security challenges in Nigeria, is viewed in different quarters as a calculated attempt hidden under the cover of development to ridicule the Goodluck administration and swell the number of criminals nationwide.
In an opinion poll conducted, majority of the communities affected have developed various degrees of anxiety, high blood pressure and even stroke on receiving the shocking news.
The ‘unfortunate’ communities affected include; Pyakasa, Dei-Dei, Karmo-Dape, Suburi, Idu, Jabi, Guzape and Gishiri.
Others are; Tasha, Zauda, Chika, Tudun Wada, Kuchingoro, Mabushi, Aleita, Piwoyi, Lugbe, Mpape and Gwagwa.
Those affected communities in the time of need in 2011, had exhibited a high sense of loyalty and commitment to the ambition of President Jonathan at the April presidential election across party divide while perhaps at that particular time, the FCT Minister who is now bent on carrying out the exercise to the latter, is alleged to have relocated to his native Bauchi State to put a finishing touch to his strategy to defeat the incumbent PDP governor, Isa Yuguda and replace him with an Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governor despite the position occupied by Yuguda as the North-east zonal campaign coordinator of Goodluck/Sambo campaign organization.
Across section of the people interviewed opined that it is mere greed and penchant for ill-gotten wealth that brought about the obnoxious policy to render some law abiding citizens homeless in their own country for no justifiable reason.
Abubakar Sambo, a native of Bauchi State resident at Mpape said, “The timing for the exercise is wrong as it is inhuman, unjust and insincere and only intended to enrich a selected few land speculators and their highly placed masters. The current security situation, bedeviling the country is enough reason to discourage the minister and his co-travelers from such an inhuman exercise. To render people homeless without a convincing reason is an invitation to violence and boast to crime”.
Isiaka Onimajesin, a sociologist and university lecturer opined that, “an average Niger Deltan who may be affected by the exercise is likely to relocate to the creeks and join the army of militants for continuation of violent attacks on oil installations while the population of Boko Haram members may swell by recruiting disenchanted northerners affected just as the ranks of kidnappers in the Eastern states will receive a boost. Armed robbers and street urchins will also jubilate in the South-west as those affected by the demolishing exercise would be compelled to join them”.
The sociologist added that, “the social implications are too many. The political factor is too heavy and the economic justification is very weak. Although government has a right to control development of towns and villages through demolishing as obtained in the 1976 Land Use Decree still in use that same government is at least expected to be humane and study situations before embarking on such sensitive exercise of destabilizing its people”. Samuel Ajeigbe, a political economist said, “It ought to be noted that part of the reason for the level of insecurity in the country today is from the effects of past demolishing exercises carried out in the FCT as many youths were displayed and immediately took to crime to source for livelihood within the FCT.
National secretary of an anti-corruption group, Yakubu Alhaji Jibrin said, ‘The planned exercise is wicked, barbaric, primitive and very inhuman from a person who is alleged to be nursing a presidential ambition and plans to sponsor another politician for gubernatorial race in Bauchi State. Although the minister and his co-travelers need money to lubricate their respective political machineries against 2015, such money should not be sourced from the legitimate property of others and should not be through blackmail of the very administration one claims to serve ”.
Nancy Njoku who was affected said, “President Goodluck should direct his minister to put a stop to the exercise and then sack and probe him and all those who master-minded the exercise. The president should know that it is some estate developers that are conspiring with the FCT administration to earmark certain areas for demolishing so to acquire same for their private businesses against the interest of other law abiding poor citizens whose interest is supposed to be protected by government”.
Ibironke Adeyemi Esq, opined that, “those clamoring for the demolishing exercise do not wish the president well in his political endeavor. The architects of the nefarious anti-people policy are meant to whittle down the respect the people have for the president and stability of his administration. Their aim is to use the exercise to cause disaffection between the president and those affected who massively voted him to power in 2011 against the wish of some politicians and use the effects of same exercise in 2015 against him”.
Some unconfirmed insinuations going round say that the minister may want to use the demolishing exercise to acquire some of the land for himself, his family members and friends as is always the case in his style of administration since he was appointed a minister in 2010.
Commenting on the exercise, Sylvanus Nnamdi, an indigene of Abia state who claimed to have resided in the FCT since its creation said, “This is the worst and most wicked administration in the history of FCT. Nasir El-Rufa’i never demolished other people’s property but claimed the property belonging to government including plots developed by crooks and those hijacked by criminals. Senator Bala must be one of those working under ground against the success of the very administration he claims to be serving. How can he embark on such an inhuman exercise even if it was approved by the president? The president in his normal sense cannot approve such an exercise against the very people that voted him to govern them. It is inhuman, barbaric and calculated to cause chaos and anarchy”.
Jibrin Musa Tirwun an indigene of Bauchi State residing at Kubwa in the FCT said. “The minister has now shown his true color to all. We learnt he wants to contest the Bauchi State gubernatorial seat in 2015. Is that what Bauchi State should expect from him? If he needs more money for the campaign, let him source it from other legitimate ways rather than rendering people homeless and reallocating their land to shylocks. It is too bad. I have no business with that man again and we shall campaign against his ambition”.