Bauchi lawmaker: Why Bala Mohammed demolished my house

In a demonstration to tackle the menace of ghost workers that has continue to drain the coffers of government, Bauchi State Governor, Sen Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed will hold a public parley with all the stakeholders involved in the payment of workers salaries in the state.

The house of a member of the House of Representatives representing Bauchi Central Federal Constituency of Bauchi State, Yakubu Abdullahi, has been demolished.

He alleged that the state government carried out the demolition.

The house, which was located a few meters away from the official residence of the Speaker of Bauchi State House of Assembly, Abubakar Suleiman, in the old GRA, was demolished Friday night.

Speaking in a telephone interview with newsmen on Saturday, Abdullahi alleged that his house was demolished by the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, for “political reasons.”

He further alleged that the governor went there and ordered that the house, which was about 75 per cent completed, be demolished.

“We’ve been dragging this for about two weeks. Finally, on Thursday, he sent them in the night and they came with guns and shot four of my security men there. We reported the matter to the Police and they were taken to the hospital where the bullets were removed.

“On Friday, the same group went to the house around 6 pm. They came with a bulldozer from the Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency; the governor went there himself and ordered them to demolish the house,” Abdullahi stated.

When newsmen asked him if he had evidence to back his claim that the governor was physically there and truly ordered the demolition of the house, Abdullahi said, “He went there personally.”

The governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mukhtar Gidado, did not respond to enquiries asking for his comment on the issue.

Continuing, the lawmaker said, “It is not something hidden. I was not there, but people saw him when he went there. Many government officials, including the SSG and his commissioners, were all there with him.

“Initially, the SSG, commissioners of Works and Housing and the GM of the State Development Board were the first to go there. They showed those who did the demolition the building.”

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Asked who were the people he claimed came with guns and shot the security men guarding his house, Abdullahi said, “They are a group of hunters called Garu Hunters Association, created by the governor and working under his government.”

The lawmaker, who has been in a running political battle with the governor since he decamped to the All Progressives Congress, said that government officials came and wrote on the fence of the house: “Revoked by the State Development Board,” and later said they wanted to demolish it.

Abdullahi argued that there were processes for demolition of any property by the government as provided by law, claiming, however, that all the processes were not followed.

“If the government wants to revoke your title, they have to issue revocation notice to you and when it expires, then it can be revoked. It is either it is revoked for overriding public interest and it has to be specified exactly what it is.

“Section 29 of the Land Use Act gives the governor the power to revoke a title; but if that will be done, they have to compensate you based on the value. If you refuse to accept the value they are putting on your property, then, you can go and bring your own professional to do the valuation for you, then you go into a negotiation.

“In fact, even before they go for the valuation, they have to send you an invitation letter after the notice and it is either you go there or you send your representative to stand for you. Unfortunately, all these steps were not taken before the demolition,” they stated.

Abdullahi claimed that when the government officials visited the site about two weeks ago, he told them that he had already filed a case in court against the government and all the MDAs concerned; noting, “They all know that the matter is in court, but they went ahead and demolished it.”

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Asked if he knew why the demolition was done, he said: “It is pure politics because [title of] my piece of land attached to my factory, a rice mill, was earlier revoked about one month ago. He revoked it for the same purpose, overriding public interest. I know he will go ahead and revoke my other lands because I have many of them.”

Asked how he acquired the land, the lawmaker said, “I didn’t acquire that land through allocation, I purchased it from somebody who was genuinely allocated the land through owner-occupier. I bought the land between four and five years ago.

“I didn’t even buy the land directly from the man who got the allocation. I am the third person that bought the land. I did all the necessary documentation and I followed due process. I paid building approval issued by the government, I paid ground rates up to 2024, even the Certificate of Occupancy was not issued in my name. I did a bid of assignment registered by the governor.

“Before I bought the house, I conducted a legal search to see if there was any encumbrance, but there was none. All the legal processes to acquire the land, I did all of them.

“This is victimisation being to me personally, because of politics. It is not only me but also to APC chieftains, their lands were also revoked.

“He revoked that of the former governor Isa Yuguda; he revoked Yakubu Dogara’s land, he revoked my own land and now, he has demolished my house.”

Efforts by newsmen to get a reaction from the governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mukhtar Gidado, were unsuccessful, as he didn’t pick up his calls.

He also did not reply to a text message sent to him on the matter as of Press time.

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