The opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the administration of Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State to extend the ongoing revocation of ownership and demolition of some properties in the state to properties sold by the political godfather of the governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
Mr Yusuf was a personal aide and later commissioner to Mr Kwankwaso when he was governor of the state between 1999 and 2003 and in 2011 and 2015.
Less than 72 hours after he was inaugurated on 29 May, Mr Yusuf ordered the demolition of some properties he claimed the immediate past government sold illegally. He also claimed that some properties were built on land for recreation sites.
Between Saturday and Tuesday, the government demolished at least four properties. On Saturday, a three-story building with 90 shops on a race course at Nasarawa GRA was also demolished.
On the same day, the government demolished Daula Hotel, a three-star hotel reconstructed by the Ganduje administration under a Private Public Partnership arrangement. The government also demolished another structure at Hajj Camp. On Monday, the government demolished shops at the Kantin Kwari textile market; it claimed the shops were built on a piece of land sold illegally.
Other places reported to be marked for demolition are the Shahuci Shopping Mall, the former building of Triumph Publishing Company, whose premises were sold for Bureau De Change operators now housing a shopping mall.
Other properties are the Farm Incumbent Centre, shops erected at Fagge Jumma’at mosque, shops erected near the city wall, shops on Club Road, and Mallam Kato Park.
The former commissioner of rural development under the Ganduje administration, Musa Illiyasu, and his colleagues spoke on the demolition exercise, and a leaked confidential document that circulated on social media indicated how Mr Kwankwaso, four days to the end of his tenure in 2015, auctioned an armoured Lexus SUV bought for N70 million for N3 million.
The documents bore the signature of the former secretary to the state government, Rabiu Suleiman, who conveyed details of a payment plan and approved by the SSG the sum of N3 million for the vehicle.
Mr Illiyasu, in a radio programme, listed various government-owned properties he claimed were sold cheaply by Mr Kwankwaso when he was governor, allegedly to himself and his associates.
“The government properties at No5, 6, and 7 at Bala Muhammed Way. The government property at No132 at Dawaki Road and No13 at Ali Akilu was sold by Mr Kwankwaso’s administration, and go and investigate who is the occupant now.
“The government properties at No193, No194, No196, No197, No 198, and No 920 all at Ahmadu Bello Way were sold out by the Kwankwaso administration, and the same process was used by Mr Ganduje in selling the government properties if Mr Ganduje’s was not proper, then Kwankwaso’s own too, Mr Illiyasu said.
The APC claimed that Mr Yusuf, who was the private secretary to Mr Kwankwaso, was one of those that bought the properties.
The APC supporters, in a widely circulated memo on social media, claimed that the shops erected on the ancient city wall between the ‘Kofar Kabuga’ gate to the ‘Kofar Fanfo’ gate were sold by Mr Kwankwaso; thus, the ongoing demolition exercise must not stop at shops at the city wall sold by the Ganduje administration.
“The shops at the city wall facing the Sani Abacha Stadium starting from ‘Kofar Mata’ gate were sold by Kwankwaso’s administration.
“Land belonging to the graveyard at the abattoir, Kano Road, was sold by the Kwankwaso administration. Land at Kabarin Raka (Raka graveyard) at Airport Road was sold by Kwankwaso’s administration
“Land at women teachers college, land at government secondary school festival, land at government boys secondary school, Goron Dutse—plots inside Daula Hotel, plots at Salanta in Kano Polytechnic. Plots at the College of legal studies, and plots at Kano Education Resource Development (KERD) at Gandun Albasa, among others, were (allegedly) sold by the Kwankwaso’s administration, the APC claimed.
The APC alleged that Mr Kwankwaso also sold Kano liaison guest houses in Kano, Lagos, and Abuja.
The deputy chairman of the APC in the state, Shehu Maigari, said the ongoing demolition is barbaric and has affected the livelihoods of millions.
He said this at a press conference at the Kano NUJ secretariat on Tuesday.
“Kano being a megacity and the commercial nerve centre of the Northern region and other West African countries, is now facing a serious calamity from the NNPP-led administration.
“This barbaric and wanton destruction of the people’s means of livelihood by the State Government calls for serious prayers by all well-meaning persons, as the people are now counting their losses in billions of Naira,” Maigari said.
“We, therefore, call on all those affected to exercise patience, maintain calmness and explore all legal means to protect their properties and seek legal redress for the damages done and the losses incurred.
“The party also urged parents and guardians in the city to caution their children and wards on the dangers of them being used as “agents of destruction by the NNPP-led administration, Mr Maigari said.
Sanusi Bature, the governor’s spokesperson, could not be reached on Tuesday evening for comment.
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