The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has cried out after a 110-year-old church in Sabon-Gari area of Kaduna State, St. Gregory’s Anglican Church was served a 7-day quit notice by the Kaduna State Urban Planning Development Agency (KASUPDA).
The notice which was signed by the zonal head of the agency on behalf of the zonal manager read;
“Reference to the directive given by the Executive Governor on the issue of Market development which compensation has been duly paid, you are hereby directed to vacate your residence within Seven (7) days from now, failure to comply will leave the Agency with no option than to evict you at your own expense. (from 19h – 24 September).”
However reacting to the notice, the CAN Chairman in Kaduna State Joseph Hayab said the 7-day notice is purported to come from the State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai. Also debunking claims of compensation being paid, Hayab said the state government had tried evicting the church over the expansion of the market at Sabon Gari in February 2016, but kept it on hold after it realized that the church had all valid documents and that even some parts of the market are on the church’s land.
“CAN wishes to draw the attention of the Kaduna state government to a quit notice to St. George’s Anglican Church in Sabon Gari, Zaria,” he said in a statement.
“The 7-day quit notice by the Kaduna State Urban Planning Development Agency (KASUPDA), is purported to be a directive from the executive governor.
“The notice also claimed that compensation had been duly paid to the church. We are alarmed and apprehensive about this if it is true that it is a directive from the governor. But we doubt much if the governor issued the directive” he said.
Calling on the state Governor to investigate the notice issued by KASUPDA, the CAN Chairman said it will go a long way to allay fears and apprehension among Christians in the state and the nation at large.
”This will go a long way in allaying fears and apprehension among Christians in the state and the nation at large,” he said.
“This unfortunate notice is coming just a few weeks after the alarm about the purported demolition of a mosque in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, which, upon investigations, was later confirmed to be false. We urge the governor to take a step to avert that kind of situation in Kaduna.”
Speaking to The Cable over the eviction notice, Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s spokesperson, Muyiwa Adekeye said he is not aware of any such notice.
“I am not aware of the notice you are talking about. What I know, and is a fact that is very much in the public domain, it is that the Kaduna State government is redeveloping and expanding markets, including the Sabon-Gari market” Adekeye said via a text message.