Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Nigeria: Northern State Reinstates Suspended Council Chairman

By iliya Kure
Kaduna (Nigeria) — Chairman of Interim Management Committee of Kaduna North Local Government Council, in Northwest Nigeria, Ahmed Kurfi has been recalled from suspension.

Kurfi was suspended from office early October following demolition of over 100 shops in the local government, in a drive to recover public lands, from whom the state government called “encroachers”.

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A statement by Special Assistant to Kaduna State Governor, Samuel Aruwan says an
investigation conducted has cleared the chairman of any wrongdoing, and commended his ‘courage and initiative’.

“After his suspension, his conduct was investigated and he was invited to respond to a query.

“Following consideration of his response, and the conclusion of investigations, the government determined that his conduct in tackling illegality was commendable.” The statement says.

“But it noted that the administrative lapses that occurred in the implementation of the action were unfortunate.” The statement adds

A letter of recall, dated 13 November 2015, by Secretary to the State Government, Balarabe Abbas Lawal, has ordered the immediate reinstatement of the chairman.

The letter also admonished the recalled chairman to always abide by laid down administrative procedures.

The Kick-Off
On Wednesday August 6, bulldozers moved to Alhudahuda Secondary School in Zaria [second biggest city in the state] and commenced pulling down private living houses on the order of Governor Nasir El-Rufai, on the grounds that the houses were built on public land [house owners claim they bought the land from previous governments under government carve-out policy, which permits state officials to sell land in public institutions].

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The state government had given owners of such structures ultimatum to remove them on, or before August 5, or face the wrath of the law.

In a discussion on Kaduna State Media Corporation (radio), at that time, Mr. Aruwan warned that the state government would recover all such lands acquired by individuals

“This government cannot allow the encroachment of 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 of such institutions.” He said on the programme.

Following the action, a Kaduna High Court restrained the State government and its agencies from demolishing buildings along Constitution Road in Kaduna city, that have been marked for demolition.

The order was against the two weeks quit notice served on the owners of the marked buildings dated 5th August, 2015 and signed by the Interim Chairman, Kaduna North Local government, Ahmed Kurfi.

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This was also followed by two separate rallies, one by a group of commercial printers and traders occupying shops along Lokoja, Gwari and Muri Roads opposing the demolition drive, while the other by road transport workers and market associations in support of the demolition.

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