The Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Base Kaduna on Tuesday warned against any form of encroachment into the base and advised communities living around the formation to follow due process in acquiring land in areas close to the barrack.
The NAF said at a press conference on Tuesday in Kaduna by the Commander 453 Base Service Group, Ismaila Yahya, that communities living around the base must verify ownership of any land with relevant authorities before buying and erecting structures.
Mr Yahya, an air commodore, who was reacting to Monday protest by Barakallahu community over alleged appropriation of the community land by NAF, dismissed the allegation, saying it was sponsored by those who illegally sold off land belonging to NAF.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the community had accused the NAF base of erecting a perimeter fence on their land.
Mr Yahya, however said: “It is noteworthy that the perimeter fencing of the vast expanse of land could not be completed before now which led to the incursion by some civilians who have illegally erected structures in the land.
“Before embarking on the completion of the perimeter fencing, the Nigerian Air Force held a discussion with the Kaduna State Government to address the matter of incursion of NAF premises.
“Nevertheless, the Nigerian Air Force embarked on the completion of the perimeter fencing of the base to prevent further incursion of the land.”
He blamed ‘unpatriotic elements’ who were selling portions of the land to unsuspecting members of the public for the protest and urged the residents not to allow themselves to be used to cause trouble around the NAF base.
The commander warned that the air force would take all legal steps to protect its assets and would not be intimidated by any illegally sponsored protest.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that residents of Barakallahu had blocked the Kaduna/Zaria highway during the protest, causing heavy gridlock on the highway for several hours.