In a move that could only be traced to the political impasse between Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido and President Goodluck Jonathan, the Dutse Capital Development Authority (DCDA) has ordered the demolition of a federal housing estate situated in Dutse, the state capital.
It was leant that residents of the estate woke up on Monday to find a bulldozer stationed and ready to commence demolition of the over 17 years housing estate belonging to the Federal Ministry of Works.
Although staff of the Federal Ministry of Works were given a notice of less than two weeks to vacate the housing estate located on Sani Abacha Road in the centre of the capital city, some of the occupants claimed that demolition of their houses lacked due process.
Some of the federal civil servants, who pleaded anonymity, decried the state government’s action and described it as ‘unfair’, adding that the buildings belong to the Federal Ministry of Works and were given to them on owner-occupier basis.
Another occupant, who also pleaded anonymity, said he had lived in his house for more than 13 years noting that “the state government was not fair to us for unlawfully taken over the property with a notice of less than 48 hours.”
He called on the Federal Government to intervene to ensure that they retained their houses, stressing that “it is the Dutse Capital Development Authority (DCDA) that unilaterally decided to convert our estate to an amusement park. They are not fair to us,” he said.
In his reaction, the state Commissioner for Land and Housing, Alhaji Muhammed Barde justified the state government’s action saying the land which was given to the Federal Ministry of Works in Dutse, was retrieved as a result of the ministry’s failure to use the land for the agreed purpose for which it was acquired.
He also explained that the land was revoked because the Federal Government acquired the land under agreement with the state government for the past 17 years but failed to use it based on the agreement made.
“We have revoked the title, it is not accruable and it is just an institutional title”, he stressed.
The property, according to the commissioner, will be converted to an amusement park that would be useful to members of the public, saying the project had been captured in the 2014 budget of the state government.