Following the ongoing activities by the Kano State Government, a Coalition for Good Governance and Change Initiative on Tuesday issued the Governor, Abba Yusuf, a 72-hour ultimatum to stop his reign of ‘madness’ and pacify victims who lost their properties to the demolition or be prepared to face litigation.
This was even as the coalition appealed to President Bola Tinubu to intervene in the ongoing destruction of investments in the state.
The development comes three days after the state task force on mass demolition under the Urban Protection and Development Authority marked hundreds of houses in the community for further demolition.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, CGGI National Coordinator, Okpokwu Ogenyi described the demolition as unlawful and inhumane, warning that the incident could lead to a full-blown crisis if left unchecked.
He said, “We believe that the situation in Kano, if not called to order, is capable of causing unrest that may affect the whole country. Something must be done urgently to stop this madness. We call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to quickly intervene and call Governor Abba Yusuf to stop the illegal demolition of property, leading to further loss of lives in the State.
“We hereby give Governor Yusuf 72 hours ultimatum to retract himself and stop the ongoing demolition, call the affected persons and groups for proper compensation, or face legal action,” the former member of the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council stated.
The ongoing property demolition championed by the new governor of Kano State has come under fire.
At least one person had been reported dead, with three others hospitalised, after the wreckage of a demolished building collapsed on scavengers in Kano.
But the coalition contested the figure, saying its investigative team that was on the ground recorded about 20 casualties.
Ogenyi, however, said he wasn’t surprised by Yusuf’s action because such a precedent has been set in Imo and Niger states.
He said, “We have watched with keen interest the level of destruction done in Kano metropolis, including the loss of over 20 lives of innocent Nigerians, who died during the process of the unlawful demolition of property in the state. The government claimed that two persons died, but our team members who were in Kano discovered over 20 persons have died, which is a serious concern for the human rights community.
“More worrisome is the trend of successive governors destroying legacies of the previous administration in a quest to slight previous governors either based on hatred or fear of popularity among others. It happened in Imo State when former Governor Emeka Ihedoha maliciously demolished an edifice built by the administration of Rochas Okorocha. The Governor of Niger State is also demolishing property perceived to have belonged to his predecessor. What a show of shame!
“The last three weeks have become hell in Kano State, with cries in almost every home within the metropolis. Governor Abba Yusuf has become a shadow of good governance. Even his supporters are no longer proud of him because of his inhuman action against the people of Kano State.”
The coalition also expressed concerns over the continued silence of Yusuf’s political godfather and presidential candidate of the New Nigerian People’s Party, Dr. Rabiu Kwankwaso.
It also pondered why a governor who had barely spent three weeks in office was so obsessed with mowing down structures to spite his predecessor.
“Mr Kwankwaso, who is the leader of the governor, is silent over the inhuman activities currently ongoing in Kano State, and it is a bad signal that he is also part of the demolition plot. If he is not, we call on him to exonerate himself by joining religious leaders and other prominent Nigerians in condemning the evil act.
“If it is true that the previous administration of Kano State illegally allocated these plots, why not call the immediate past Governor Abdullahi Ganduje to answer questions and, if possible, charge? Is government no longer a continuous process? Most of these individuals got loans and invested them in Kano, only to face this kind of devastating situation. How do you expect them to survive?” he argued.