*Victims allege NAF responsible
*NAF denies involvement
*Community leader says houses owned by serving, retired military officers left untouched by exercise
By; IBRAHIM ADAMU, Kaduna.
While there is said to be a subsisting court order, barring the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) from taking further action, victims affected by a pre dawn invasion and vandalizing of over ten houses including a church in Barakallahu rural community in Kaduna State, have pointed causing fingrers at the Nigeria Air Force (NAF).
The victims, whose homes were affected in the yesterday 5am demolition exercise by men fully armed in military fatigues who stormed the sleepy community, drew ire and anger from dwellers of mostly Gbagyi tribe.
When our correspondent visited the community known as Ungwar Kano few hours after the exercise, he met affected families with children and babies strapped behind their mothers, wailing with no place to go to as alternative shelters.
An elder in the community who simply identified himself as Danjuma Adamu, decried what he described as contempt of court, lack of compassion and insensitivity by the men in uniform.
“Can you imagine these men from Air Force Base invading a sleepy community while we were still asleep, startling little children in the process and rendering several families homeless in this rainy season.
“Our people initially thought the men in uniforms were bandits as it has become a frequent occurrence in Igabi Local Government and other suburban settlements where people have been kidnapped for ransom.
“Until it dawned on us that the assailants were men from the Air Force in full military combat uniforms in about eleven vehicles with all sorts of tools meant for demolition.
“The most annoying and humiliating aspect of it these men ordered occupants of the houses being demolished to use their own hands to destroy their homes,” he lamented.
While explaining the incident of the wee hours of yesterday, Adamu noted that residents of the community had lived there for over 50 years after their forefathers were instructed to vacate the innermost parts of the swath of land neighboring the Kaduna Air Force Base.
“We were relocated to this place after so much persuasion and dialogue with our elders for peace and harmony to reign.
“We were shocked by the kleptomaniac attitude of these men in uniform who came looking for more land to occupy.
“Instead of relocating a giant poultry farm owned by a retired general and other structures owned by big men of the military, they insisted the poor masses who could seldom eat three decent meals daily should be the ones to move.
“Our people with the help of good spirited individuals instituted a court process which is still on and bars any action from the Air Force.
“To our astonishment they came and brought down our houses, including a house of worship, the Redeemed Church.
“Is this how to pay us back after being peaceful and law-abiding for years since living in this part of the state?” He asked.
Our correspondent observed highbrow structures untouched about 100 meters away from the scene of demolished houses, which he was informed, were houses of retired military officers.
A resident of the community Yusuf Danlami explained to our correspondent that the big houses were owned by retired and serving military men.
“Those mansions and big houses you are seeing there are owned and occupied by the untouchable big men who are allowed to live in peace but only us the less privileged are subjects of ridicule and harassment.
“This is perplexing coming at this time when tensions are high all over the place due to aftermath of elections and other issues capable of causing uprising in the state.
“We call on concerned authorities to wade into this issue before it escalates and leads to something else,” Danlami added.
Meanwhile, when contacted, the Spokesman of Tactical Command, NAF Kaduna, Group Captain Kabir Ali said that the demolition couldn’t have been done by the NAF personnel.
“I doubt if any of such happened, our place is fenced already, so if it is a demolition outside our fence, it is not Air Force Personnel responsible. However, I will confirm and get back to you,” he said.
Also contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Kaduna State Command, DSP Muhammed Jalige said that the command was yet to be briefed on the development.
He however, promised to make findings and get back to our correspondent. He was yet to reach out as at when filing this report.