By; Isaac Odeh, Kaduna.
The Igbo community in Kaduna have joined other Nigerians calling on Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai to temper justice with mercy in the ongoing land recovery and demolition exercise embarked upon by his government by implementing the 2011 White Paper committee report that ensured peaceful resolution of the matter.
The Eze Igbo of Gbagyi Chiefdom, Kaduna, Ogbuefi Fred Awagu, expressed shock while addressing large Igbo contingents that came to his palace in respect of the ultimatum given to the thousands of residents of Gbagyi Villa community by Kaduna State government to vacate their buildings.
He said that about 70% of the residents of Gbagyi Villa were Igbos.
The Chief said irrespective of the momentary consoling court order restraining the government from demolishing all the structures in Gbagyi Villa, Governor El-Rufai should have mercy on the people in order not to cause untold hardship on the people if their buildings are demolished.
He urged the Igbo people living in the state to be calm, law abiding and to always seek peaceful channels of expressing their grievances, adding that everyone should strive to always ensure that the bond of unity that tightened the different segments of Kaduna populations remain solid.
Gbagyi Villa, he said, is a new settlement and it would be recalled that Gbagi traditional rulers battled Kaduna Polytechnic for years over the ownership of the land, adding that after the institution was subdued by the Gbagis, via a settlement deal involving Former Kaduna State Governor, Late Patrick Yakowa, the Gbagis began selling the land to people.
The area now housed over three thousand buildings.
It was gathered that upon El-Rufai’s coming into office as Kaduna State Governor, the management of Kaduna Polytechnic had approached him to help them recover the land from encroachers.