Barely one week to leave office, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has demolished multi-million-naira structures belonging to followers of Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky known as Shi’ites.
The demolition was reportedly carried out on Sunday by operatives of the Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Authority (KASUPDA), on the excuse that the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (INM) otherwise known as Shi'ites had been banned in the state.
According to a Vanguard report, the structures demolished include schools, a hospital and a private residence. The six structures were located in Kawo, Rigasa, Tudun Wada and Ungwan Rimi.
Security personnel were used to drive out the occupants of the buildings before the demolition.
According to the report, the agency had sought further approval from Governor El-Rufai to carry out the demolition of 48 structures belonging to the Zakzaky-led Islamic Movement across the state.
Meanwhile, the Shi'ite movement has warned that El-Rufai is pushing the members to the wall by demolishing their structures.
Briefing journalists, a Shi’ite leader, Yunusa Lawal, condemned the demolition of their properties worth tens of millions, describing it as illegal and vindictive.
Lawal stated that they were never served any notice for the illegal demolition of their property and rendering their members homeless.
He queried the government for demolishing a hospital and schools, saying, “We were never served any notice to know the reason for the demolition, so, we don’t even know the location of the remaining 42 structures they planned to demolish.
"The only reason we saw in the leaked memo is that we are a proscribed movement, but we are saying we are a religious community, we cannot be banned.
“El-Rufai is pushing us to the wall, we are law-abiding citizens, but there is a limit to everything. We cannot fold our arms, we must talk. We are bona fide citizens of Nigeria, even El-Rufai is not a better citizen than us.
“So, we are calling on the government and the people of good conscience to prevail on the government of El-Rufai to stop this thing they have started, because they said 48 structures, now six of our structures are down, we don’t know the 42 others across the state."
Lawal, however, warned of dangerous consequences should it continue.
“If care is not taken, that means there will be more bloodshed because some people might react to what the government is doing. Even on Saturday, people would have reacted if they knew they (KASUPDA) were coming because I can sense if people in Rigasa knew, we wouldn’t have been having this press conference today because Kaduna would have been in turmoil.
“To be frank with you, we have had enough. Enough is enough. Since 2015 to date, there is no month they will not kill some of our members either in Kaduna or Abuja and in some other parts of the country, Kano, Sokoto and all that.”