The Kaduna State Government has begun demolition of over 450 buildings in Zaria as approved by state governor Nasir El-Rufai.
Already, no fewer than 200 buildings, including churches and schools have been pulled down in Graceland by operatives of the state’s urban planning agency, KASUPDA, witnesses told Peoples Gazette Wednesday evening.
Malam Dogo, a witness, told The Gazette that the demolition began on Monday.
“Presently, over 200 houses have been destroyed out of the 450 marked for demolition,” he said.
He named churches affected by the demolition to include COCIN, Baptist and ECWA. Bethel Group of Schools was also said to have been demolished.The Gazette learnt that Mr Elrufai had claimed that the properties being demolished encroached on land belonging to the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology, Zaria.
Graceland community is located behind the college.
Meanwhile, residents have decried the demolition exercise, claiming many families have now been turned homeless and displaced.“Sad, broken and disgusted by the wickedness that El Rufai has meted out to residents of Graceland in Zaria. Homes and churches demolished. Families displaced.
What manner of evil is this????” @Oge_writes tweeted.
Sad, broken and disgusted by the wickedness that El Rufai has meted out to residents of Graceland in Zaria. Homes and churches demolished. Families displaced.
What manner of evil is this????
— Mrs Nwobia’s Daughter (@Oge_writes) October 6, 2021
On Thursday, Amnesty International asked the Kaduna government to halt the demolition exercise, noting that “forced eviction is a gross human rights violation that particularly deprives people of the right to housing.”