There was unrest in Malali Low-Cost area of Kaduna North Local Government Area of Kaduna State as the residents moved against the sale of low cost houses being occupied by mostly masses and civil servants.
The protest started midday on Thursday when beneficiaries of the sale came with allocation letters to claim the property and subsequently evict tenants who have been living in the houses for decades.
This was followed by massive protests on Friday around the streets of Malali Lowcost, Kaduna as residents marched to Kaduna State Development Property Company to register their grievances against what they describe as injustice and anti-masses decision the Governor Nasiru El-Rufai took regarding the houses.
The residents carried placard with several inscriptions such as: “Where do you want us to go to”; “We were born and brought up in Malali Lowcost”; “El-Rufai, Why we”; “We voted for you, is this how you want to pay us back”.
According to a man simply identified as Baba Twins: “They are trying to sell our houses we have been staying in for over 30 years without following due process. They are trying to eject some us in order to allocate the houses to other people and we see this as injustice. Furthermore, we simply want peace and justice to be done. We hereby plead with the government to rescind any of such decision as there are poor masses, widows and widowers here who don’t have anywhere to go to.”
Another visibly angry youth said: “This government is worrying us. People just came with allocation letter to collect our room. So we are here to know what reason they have to render the masses homeless.”
Another youth said: “The government which are supposed to be giving ownership of houses to occupants depending on how punctual they pay their rents are now turning around to collect the houses from poor masses.”
Reacting to this issue, the Estate Manager of Malali branch of the Kaduna State Development Property Company, Bitrus Jatau, said he was not aware of the development.
According to Jatau, the order seems to have come directly from the state government.
Jatau, who spoke in Hausa, said: “I feel your pain and share your feeling, thus I am glad that you call came here. As a matter of fact I was also allocated one of the houses, which is being occupied by an old widow. If I evict her from the house, God will be angry with me.”
According to Jatau, his appointment as estate manager is in a bid to ensure freedom for the masses, while lamenting the dilapidated nature of the houses in a bid to renovate them.
He further said the allocation letter doesn’t carry the logo of the KSDPC.
He further urged the protesters to march to State House or House of Assembly to make their grievances known to the government.
There have been musings over the sales of low-cost houses in Kaduna State albeit without due transparency as virtually all the tenants are ignorant of the entire process only to see people coming to claim their houses.
The elders in Malali lowcost, where the issue is of utmost concern, have decided to sue the state government in order to stop what they describe as anti-masses decision by Governor Nasiru El-Rufai.
According to one of the Elders: “The decision to sell our houses right under our noses is ridiculous and unfortunate. Majority of the masses in this state have taken leverage of the low cost houses to secure accommodation. I wonder which right thinking government will render its citizens houseless for the benefit of just few.”