AI to El-Rufai: Stop Gbagyi Villa demolition

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai
Governor Nasir El-Rufai

Amnesty International is mounting pressure on the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai to dissuade him to stop the planned demolition of about 1000 houses in Gbagyi Villa, in Kaduna, the state capital.

All the houses have been marked with X and are waiting for the bulldozers.

Amnesty said thousands of people risk being forcibly evicted and has urged Nigerians to write the governor to stop the demolition plan.

In a statement issued today on its behalf by Morayo Adebayo, a researcher, Amnesty directed that protest letters be sent to all the addresses of Governor Rufai, both physical and on social media.

It also directed that a similar letter be sent to Saratu Musa Haruna, the general manager of the The Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Authority (KASUPDA).

It was the authority that has issued 21-day demolition notices to the residents of Gbagyi Villa.

The authority has done so on four occasions between 4 November 2015 and 16 March 2016.

“Amnesty International has seen these notices and some of the houses marked X. Residents say they have not been consulted about the planned demolition, and no alternative housing or compensation has been offered. The residents initiated a court case on 10 March and obtained an injunction against the planned demolition.

“Despite the ongoing court case, the Governor of Kaduna State visited the community on 21 July and publicly said that houses which have allegedly encroached on the land belonging to the Kaduna State Polytechnic, and built without title documents and building permits, will be demolished even before the conclusion of the court case.

“Each of the houses marked for demolition has an average of five residents. Therefore, should the demolitions go ahead, at least five thousand people (including, men, women and children) will be left homeless and vulnerable to a range of human rights violations.

“Many of the residents, who are either the original farmland owners or those who bought land from its original owners, and their tenants, do not have the demanded title documents, as these are difficult and costly to obtain. However, many have legally obtained building permits or have made payments for obtaining the same. Despite this, their houses have been marked for demolition”, Amnesty said.

Amnesty’s Action Plan:

The human rights group wants people to write immediately in English or their own language to Governor Nasir El-Rufai:
* Calling on the Nigerian authorities to immediately stop the planned forced eviction of residents of Gbagyi Villa and allow the court process to run its course;
* Urging them, that in line with Nigeria’s international human rights obligations, to ensure that even where an eviction is justified, it is carried out only after appropriate safeguards against forced evictions including genuine consultation, adequate notice; adequate compensation and alternative housing for those who cannot afford to provide for themselves, have been put in place.

Amnesty said appeals must be sent before 19 SEPTEMBER 2016 TO:

Governor of Kaduna State
Mallam Ahmad Nasir El-Rufai
Twitter: @elrufai
Salutation: Your Excellency

General Manager, Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency
TPL. Saratu Musa Haruna
No.5 Ahmadu Bello Way, Kaduna, Kaduna, Kaduna State Nigeria
Salutation: Dear Madam

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