By Yakubu salisu, Kano
Residents of Salanta Quarters along B.U.K Road in Kano State have raised the alarm over fear of their safety after looters numbering over 1000 invaded their community last night alongside officials of Kano State Government who descended on the area for demolition of houses marked as illegal structures.
Muhammad Aliyu, who spoke on behalf of the community’s forum said, there was pandemonium in the area last night after the said hoodlums and thugs took over the area attacking and beating up people including a pregnant woman who is currently battling for her life in the hospital.
According to him trouble started in the community a day after officials from the Kano State Urban Planning and Development Agency (KANUPDA) visited the area marking structures for demolition, a development which prompted them to rush to the agency to have an audience with the Managing Director but to no avail.
“KANUPDA officials were here earlier on Thursday to mark our houses for demolition. We quickly rushed to their office to see the MD to inform him that we have every necessary document for our houses but we were told the MD was not available and we should go back and just pray”.
We also tried to secure court injunctions to stop the state government from carrying out the demolition but to our greatest surprise, the courts refused to grant us our request on the ground that the state government has ordered them not to grant such order”.
“Behold, we came under attack last night (Friday) at about by 10pm by looters not less than a thousand who accompanied KANUPDA’s officials for demolition exercise which you can see for yourself. We were left in panic; no one was able to sleep last night.”
“Just the way you were attacked today, that was how we were attacked last night in the presence of Civil Defense Officials who accompanied them but refused to protect us”.
He added that the exercise was carried out in the presence of the secretary to the state government, Baffa Bichi and the reinstated state Anti-Corruption agency, Bar. Muhuyi Magaji which further affirmed that the looters are having their field day under the protection of the state government” we have lost billions of naira between last night to this afternoon. My building alone cost me over 150million not to talk about others”.
Aliyu pleaded on human right organizations, the Federal Government and other relevant stakeholders to come to their rescue as they fear more damages could be done in the area as the police have informed them that they have been asked to keep away.
This journalist came under attack after scores of looters descended on him with stones and other dangerous weapons for capturing them on pictures and videos. Shortly after the narrow escape, Anti-Daba police officers who rushed to the area also pounced on this journalist and took away his phone deleting pictures and videos saying that they were not authorized to be there as such will be in danger should the videos and pictures show their faces that they came on their own discretion to chase away the looter and took off immediately.