By; Jacob Onjewu Dickson
Kaduna State Government has forcefully evicted some Teachers residing in government apartments from their allotted residence with the aid of armed military and Policemen on Thursday after the expiration of quit notice served on them.
The Teachers were thrown out of their apartments on the ground that they were occupying government quarters in schools other than the place they are currently teaching thereby declaring them illegal occupants.
An eyewitness told New Nigerian that the teachers were molested by the security agents that accompanied ministry staff to carry out the eviction exercise.
According to eyewitness report “the military showed no respect to the teachers and maltreated them as if they were ordinary criminals. Their properties were thrown out and in the process some got damaged, the unfortunate thing is that there was heavy down-pour and this led to further damage of the teachers’ properties.
“I know a teacher who lost valuables as a result of this inhuman treatment meted on them. I saw one of the teacher’s glass dining table damaged alongside other valuables. This is sad. I was discouraged as a Nigerian seeing a government maltreating staff under their employment in this manner,” the eyewitness said.
It would be recalled that a quit notice dated November 10, 2015 was issued the teachers titled; “quit notice to illegal occupants of school quarters’ demanding that the teachers vacate their various apartments or face forceful eviction.
But in negation of the government’s claim, the teachers insisted that they were not illegal occupants, but that they fulfilled all the conditions of occupying government quarters. They claimed to have met the provision of the PSR number 12209 on eligibility for occupation of government quarters.
But a copy of the quit notice obtained by New Nigerian read in parts: “I am directed to refer to the ministry letter no CNC/G9/Vol1/125 of the 14th September, 2015 on the above subject and to inform you that the notice given to those illegal occupant of school quarters would expire on the 31st December.
The letter was signed by the Director Administration and Supply, Peter Z. Ango on behalf of the education Commissioner where it was stressed that, the state government had constituted an eviction task-force to commence eviction with effect from January 1, 2016.
“I am to emphasize, that all illegal occupants are strictly advised to vacate the houses they are occupying illegally in accordance with the letter quoted above.”
A senior Civil Servant who doesn’t want his name mentioned when approached to seek clarification on the government’s position referring to serving staff as illegal occupants said: “there are three conditions on which an occupant of government quarters could be addressed as illegal occupant of an apartment”.
According to him, the civil service rule states that “a civil servant would vacate government quarters if he/she is dismissed. And or if he/she is retired or if he is transfered. Then he must vacate government apartment.”
On transfer he stressed that the civil servant is entitled to a new accommodation in his new place of posting before he can be asked to vacate his former accommodation and except accommodation is provided in the new place of posting, such civil servant cannot be addressed as illegal occupant.
But last Thursday, Kaduna State government supported by military personnel armed with guns evicted these teachers out of their apartments.
Our investigation revealed that some of the teachers have no place to go because of the economic conditions prevalent in the country and have to squat with friends and families.