Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Residents protest as Kano Emirate ‘illegally grabbed’ their Eid praying ground

Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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The residents, under the auspices of Darmanawa Layout Development Association, alleged that Ado Bayero Royal City Trust Fund, an agency of the emirate council, was planning to snatch the praying ground and convert it to residential plots for commercial purpose.

Addressing newsmen on Tuesday in Kano, the Chairman, Eid Ground Committee, Bar. Tijjani Yahaya, explained that the land was donated to the town by late Emir Ado Bayero and was subsequently gazetted by the Kano State Government, following the creation of Darmanawa Layout in the early 80s.

Mr Yahaya recalled that the association had first scuttled an attempt by unknown persons to encroach the land in 2019 when it petitioned the state government’s Bureau for Land Management.

According to him, the piece of land is the only Eid praying ground in the whole Tarauni Local Government Area of the state.

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The chairman also recalled that when the Ado Bayero Royal City Trust Fund attempted to take over the land, they approached Emir Aminu Ado-Bayero who waded in and ordered for investigations into the matter.

Mr Yahaya added that the association had also written a petition to the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Agency in October 2020, in an attempt to protect the land from illegal grabbing and encroachment.

“While we were awaiting the outcome of these petitions, the representatives of the Ado Bayero Royal City Trust Fund tried to forcefully take over the Eid Ground which we successfully scuttled the attempt on December 30, 2020.

“We, therefore, challenge and call upon the Ado Bayero Royal City Trust Fund to provide any evidence of ownership of the said ground, which has been designated as public on plan number TP/UDB/18 by the then Kano State Urban Development Board as gazetted by the Kano state government,” he said.

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According to Mr Yahaya, while the association was awaiting response to their petition to the emirate council, to their dismay, on Monday, they saw a team of police officers deployed to the Eid ground giving security cover to the labourers brought in to cut down trees in the land.

“The large consignment of armed police officers under the command of a superintendent of police besieged our layout and the whole community in the later part of yesterday, 1st February, 2021 and gave cover to a team of people with cutlasses who proceeded to cut down all the trees that have been grown on the Eid ground for over 15 years and provide shade to the teeming members of the congregation during the Eid prayer sessions.

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“When we approached the SP, he informed us that the order for the exercise came from the Commissioner of Police, Kano State. We will now seek an audience with the CP to brief him on our position on the matter,” he said.

Mr Yahaya also stated that the association would do everything within the ambit of the law to protect and prevent illegal encroachment and conversion of the Eid ground into commercial residential plots.

“On behalf of the teeming members of the larger community within and around this sacred ground for this and other generations yet to be born to continue to benefit from the intended purpose for which this Eid praying ground was donated by the late emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero,” he stated.

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