An Appeal To Reconsider The Planned Demolition Of Gbagyi Villa By Kaduna State Government

By Sunny Eze

Shelter is an important component of human existence, comfort and survival. From time immemorial, the essence of life is completely lost without a desirable roof over peoples’ heads. That was why, Abraham Maslow, a psychologist, in his world acclaimed Hierarchy of Needs strategically placed SHELTER, food, water, sleep, warmth and sex,  second to none in the importance of human needs in its first stage model. Today, Nigeria cannot be said to have met the housing needs of her citizens. The former Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) Gimba Ya’u Kumo had disclosed that over 68 million Nigerians are either homeless or improperly housed.  The ministry of housing had also revealed that Nigeria needs a minimum of 56 trillion to bridge the yawning gap of more than 17 million housing deficit for citizens. Consequently, the need for the people of Kaduna state to have good roof over their heads prompted the administration of late Patrick Yakowa to approve the development of Gbagyi Villa: a new community behind the Sabon Tasha Campus of Kaduna Polytechnic.

At the time of Yakowa’s administration, contentious issues of the real owners of the land arose between the Indigenous People of Gbagyi and Kaduna Polytechnic. The latter claimed the entire land belongs to them. The prompt intervention of the late governor Yakowa and the court brought relative peace to the new settlement leading the Polytechnic to fence its own parcel of land. With the issues permanently laid to rest, many were encouraged to return to site. Recently, rumours begun making the rounds that the government of Mallam El-Rufai will demolish the Villa. It was said that in every rumour, there is an element of truth. True to that assertion, Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency (KASUPDA) had a few days ago given the inhabitants of Gbagyi Villa twenty-one (21) days’ demolition notice to vacate their abodes or risk demolition of their houses at a cost they will ironically bear.

The Demolition Notice reads: the board has noticed with dismay that you have illegally embarked on developing a structure at the above mentioned plot without obtaining planning permission from the agency. This action of yours is a contravention of section 26 and 27 of KASUPDA law. In view of the above, you are hereby given Twenty-One (21) days with effect from the above date, within which to remove all structures so erected. Failure to comply with the above directives, the Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency would have no option than to demolish the illegal structure at your expense, in accordance with section (48)(2) of the aforementioned laws, please.

Government may wish to know that very many residents have got their building planning permission before embarking on construction. One thing left in the opinion of this piece is for KASUPDA to cross-check their files to determine those who have crossed the hurdle and give a time line for others who are yet to comply to quickly tow the path of honour.  Since the news broke out, life has not been the same in Gbagyi Villa. Some residents have died of hypertension while many are presently bed- ridden in hospitals. The current harsh realities of life are already telling on all of us and the news of demolishing ones house is akin to pushing one to early grave. Gbagyi Villa is a residential area hosting various strata of the society ranging from indigenes to non-indigenes, businessmen, retired and serving public servants alike.  Some people took bank loans with huge interest rates and collateral to build these houses. Others did with their retirement benefits and hard earned life savings. And for the reality of demolition of one’s house to stare one in the face is worrisome. It was Elephant which says that it lacks the courage to pull down houses because; it takes toll on peoples’ energy, money and time to construct one. If ordinary animal could understand the underlining trouble one passes through to build, and attach value to it, human beings too should.

This piece is a passionate appeal to the Executive Governor of Kaduna State; Mallam Nasir El- Rufai’s to prevail on KASUPDA to reconsider the planned demolition of Gbagyi Villa in the interest of peace and harmony. It is well understood that government want to restore the beauty of Kaduna and bring sanity in the way land businesses are done. However, the decision to destroy a whole community for failure to get building plan permission amounts to killing an ordinary fly with a sledge hammer. The solution to this problem does not lie within the law barring its fangs but in the consideration of untold hardship the exercise will expose thousands of families to. The letter which was signed by the General Manager, KASUPDA, Tpl. Saratu M. Haruna, explicitly stated that residents do not have plan permission. Suffice it to say that what is expected of all is to do the needful and everything possible to get one. In fact demolishing these houses for only contravening the law of not obtaining building plan permission cannot be said to be commensurate with the threat and grave consequences of pulling down these houses. The government is graciously appealed to, to tamper justice with mercy.

Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs affirms that we must satisfy each need in turn starting with the first which deals with the most obvious need for survival itself.  It is only when the lower order needs of physical and emotional well-being are satisfied are we concerned with higher order needs of influence and personal development. If things that satisfy our lower needs are swept away, we are no longer concerned about the maintenance of our higher needs. The government of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai is called to note that actualisation of goals of government are tied to that of the lower needs of the governed which should work in pari-passu for even development.  Residents of Gbagyi Villa are law abiding people who would not want to interfere with the laws of the state for no one can fight the government and ignorantly doing so amounts to shooting ones foot. The people are ready and willing to cooperate with government in resolving all the grey areas. Being punitive in this case will not serve the people and the government they elected any good. Sai Mallam!

Sunday Onyemaechi Eze, a Media and Communications Specialist wrote via [email protected]

Kaduna Create 85,000 Jobs From OMEALS Model

Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, on Saturday gave account of his 9-months stewardship as the governor since taken over the mantle of leadership of the state.

The governor who gave his stewardship account during his 6th town hall meeting in Saminaka, headquarters of Lere local government area, revealed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state has so far ceeated over 125,000 direct jobs in State within less than one year in office.

el-Rufai said the state school feeding programme created at least 85,000 jobs, including the vendors, their staff and supervisors.

He told the gathering that Dangote and Olam are in advanced discussions with his administration on integrated tomato agro-industrial projects around Galma Dam.

The governor added further that Olam has also decided to build the largest poultry and feed-mill facility in Sub- Saharan Africa in the State, with the ground breaking ceremony in April this year.

His words: “The Job Impact of ongoing interventions is over 125,000 direct jobs in Kaduna State within less than one year of the APC being in office. The estimates of these include:

“School feeding programme: at least 85,000 jobs, including the vendors, their staff and supervisors. School uniforms:11,100 jobs,rehabilitation of Schools:7,542 jobs, construction of toilets:6,285 jobs,solar boreholes:5,028 jobs, KASTELEA:2,550 jobs,Waste collection:6,700 jobs, Science and Maths Teachers: 2,300 jobs” he highlighted.

el-Rufai added, “Stallion group is to build a 10,000-hectare rice farm and mill in Kaduna in Southern Kaduna to reduce our dependence on imported rice. Other rice farm and mill projects are being implemented by many firms to utilize our zero-interest loans around the CBN Rice Anchor Lending Programme”

el-Rufai,who was accompanied by the Senator representing Kaduna North Senatorial District, Alhaji Suleiman Hunkuyi and other top government officials on a police helicopter for aerial view of the security in that part of the state said operations against cattle-rustlers, kidnappers and other criminal gangs are continuing in the affected areas.


Prof. Umar Labdo, Alleged Religious Bigot On Kaduna Commission Of Inquiry Exposed

The Islamic Movement of Nigeria, has exposed an alleged religious bigot sitting as a member of the Kaduna State Commission of Inquiry on the Zaria Massacre.

Recall the Kaduna State government had set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the alleged massacre of over a thousand worshipers belonging to the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.

In a statement titled ‘Prof. Umar LABDO Has No Business Being A Member of Kasuna State Commission Of Inquiry On Zaria Massacre’ and released by President of the Group’s Media Forum, Ibrahim Musa, the Shiite accused  the professor of harbouring hatred for the group in a dissertation he wrote back in 2004.

The group said his book, ‘YAN SHI’A DA AKIDOJINSU (Shiites and their beliefs) precisely on page 3, he said inter alia: “Nothing will usher in peaceful coexistence in this country like the Muslims acquiring dangerous weapons similar to that of Christians or even superior, and they should train their youth in handling such weapons so that they can use them in times of need.”

“If the Muslims wreck enough havoc just like their christian counterparts do (a case of the dog and monkey fight, spilling each others blood), it is then that peace will reign supreme. But in a situation where only the Muslims are at the receiving end, while the Christians go Scot free, will not bring the much needed peace.” The group said.

It continued, “If this so called Prof. is not a religious bigot, what is he? It is with such similar venomous hatred against our fellow countrymen, the Christians that on page 74 of the same book he recommended the following measures be taken against the Shiites; Shiite schools should be closed because it is from there they spread their deviant beliefs; Shiites should not be allowed to teach in public and private schools including universities.”

The Islamic Movement also accused him of recommending that “their properties should be confiscated, like their houses. There should be investigation on their finances especially from foreign countries like Iran and Lebanon and Nigeria should severe ties with Iran diplomatically.”

The group said that the Prof and his other two fellow travelers in the Commission of inquiry believe they are the only rightly guided people even in Islam.

“In page 74 of the same book there is a sub topic titled THE SHIITES AND THE SUFIS ARE TWINS TO EACH OTHER. Implying that just as the Shiites are deviant according to him, so also are the Sufis who are known as the Dariqa followers.” The group alleged.

“Prof. Umar Labdo is with the above myopic view since when he wrote the book in November 2004. To date he hasn’t refuted his ‘dissertation’.”

The Islamic movement stated that the Kaduna state government should see reason and remove Prof. Umar Labdo, Prof. Salihu Shehu and Malam Salihu Abubakar from its Commission of inquiry, unless it is waiting for a ‘perverted report and recommendation’ after the sitting of the commission.

Like Osun, Like Kaduna: How School Feeding Programme Helps The Poor, Returns Kids To Schools

Parents in Kaduna have been reacting to the free school feeding recently introduced by the state government.

The feeding program for primary school pupils in the state was launched on January 19 by the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

A cobbler, Kabiru Abu, said the free feeding program for primary school children has taken off the burden of providing school meal for his three children.

Mr. Abu, who works at the popular Sati market, Badarawa area of Kaduna, said his three children attend LGEA primary school in Badarawa.

“Let me tell you that this feeding program is not for the children only, it is also for us who are parents in the state,” he told PREMIUM TIMES.

“I’m a cobbler who barely makes between 1000 and 1500 naira a day and I have three school children.

“Before now they will come to me every day in the market to collect money for break during school hours.

“Sometimes I do borrow to give them N20 each, but now that has been taking care of by the state government through the school feeding program.”

Mr. Abu also spoke of his children’s joy for the program.

“For me, it is like taking care of one big responsibility for five days. Every morning they do not wait for their mother to give them food anymore because they know that at 10 a.m. they will be fed in the school.

“One amazing thing that is happening now is how the children are getting more committed to learning. Any time I return home from the market, they are always in a rush to show me something they learnt from school which has never been so.

“Apart from taking off the burden of breakfast for me, my wife no longer wakes up in a rush every morning to prepare something for the children to eat or drink before they leave for school,” he said.

When asked if the government also provides school uniform and books for his children, he said, “Not yet but I have trust in this government and I am sure they will soon do that.”

“You can see that virtually all the schools in Kaduna are witnessing massive transformation. More classroom blocks are being built and renovations is taking place all over the state and the feeding of course, books is not going to be a problem, I am sure about that.

One of Mr. Abu’s wards said he is happy he does not need to go to his father’s work place to get money to buy food in school anymore.

“We do not come to Baba again because we eat well in the school and we are happy about that. They serve us with rice and beans, moi-moi, yam and egg,” the primary four pupil said.

Another parent, Zainab Sani, said she does not believe any program could benefit the poor in Kaduna better than the feeding program.

“This program came at the right time,” the widow, who resides in Kakuri area of Kaduna, said.

“I have two children who are all in primary two and my problem has always been how to provide feeding at break time.

“I am a tailor and have been struggling to provide for my orphans. My two children, Hafsat and Balki, will always return home during classes to say its break time that they need food. Sometimes they will not return to school that day again.”

She said the situation has changed since the Kaduna government began the feeding program.

“They are always in school now and will only return during closing time. It is a great initiative by the government,” she said.

Another mother, Rebecca Bitrus, shed tears while speaking about the program. Her only child, Usman, who attends LGEA school on Aliyu Makama road, Barnawa, has been returning home happy since the program began; talking about the food they are given in school.

“And for me I have no reason to worry for what to give him every morning to take to school again,” she said.

The free feeding program also seems to be achieving one of its aims of returning out of school children to schools. Nigeria has over 10 million out of school children, the largest in the world, according to the United Nations; with many of them in Northern Nigeria including Kaduna.

While speaking on the increased enrolment since the program began, a teacher said it was already leading to over congestion of schools.

Adama Mohammed, the headmistress of one of the benefitting public primary schools, said the feeding program was a success so far but the state government needed to hasten the renovation and building of new classroom blocks to reduce the number of children in the classes.

“With the increased enrolment , student population in some classes doubled and feeding in such over-populated classes could be unhygienic,” she told PREMIUM TIMES

While launching the programme in January, Governor El-Rufai said the programme would feed1.5 million pupils in the state’s public primary schools

“We are conscious that it would save parents break-time money, empower the women within the community who have been selected as the catering vendors and expand the market for farm products”.

He also said that the school feeding programme is directly creating 17,000 jobs for catering vendors, each of whom will need to employ workers to help them deliver.

“In seeking to take care of our children, we are creating jobs, boosting demand and exposing our people to new skills and hygiene standards and providing extra income.

Also responding to the issue of renovating the schools and building more classrooms blocks the governor said, “We inherited a baleful legacy of dilapidated schools, inadequate classrooms, and no furniture for 50 per cent of the pupils. The schools also often lacked water and toilet facilities.

“It is a massive commitment to fix the more than 4000 public primary schools in the state and transform them into conducive places for the delivery of quality education. We will strive to complete the rehabilitation within our term of office.”

Premium Times

Free Feeding: Kaduna Govt Sacks Headmaster, Suspends 2 Others For Diverting Pupils’s Biscuits, Oranges

The Kaduna State Government has sacked two senior education officials and suspended two others for diverting food meant for the feeding of primary school pupils. The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Dr Shehu Adamu, said at a news briefing in Kaduna on Thursday, that the officials had circumvented laid down procedures of the government’s Schools Feeding Programme, which commenced in January.

“A School Support Officer in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area (LGA), Ibrahim Abdullahi has been sacked for supplying oranges and biscuits meant for school pupils to a fruits vendor in Birning Gwari to sell for him. “Also, the Headmaster of L.E.A Labi, in Karji, Kubau LGA was also sacked for collecting bribe from a vendor who received government money but did not cook. “Instead of returning the money she shared it with the headmaster.

“We have also received a report that the Headmaster of Nuhu Bamali Primary School in Kaduna South LGA loaded his car with pupils’ oranges and drove out. “The headmaster has been suspended until investigation is concluded and if found guilty, he will also be sacked. “The police is also investigating the Headmaster of Nomadic Fulani School in Ricifa, Soba LGA for inflating the number of pupils in the school.

“He is also suspended and would be sacked if found guilty,” Adamu said. The commissioner disclosed that a query had been issued to the Education Secretary of Igabi LGA, for allegedly contracting men as food vendors for the schools feeding programme instead of women. “According to the report, the men would cook the food and hire women to serve the pupils in the schools. We are investigating the matter and he would be sacked if found wanting.”

The commissioner also said that the ministry was investigating allegations that some vendors were supplying soya bean sauce in place of egg sauce to pupils. He warned that any food vendor found engaged in the practice would be prosecuted. Adamu said the government would undertake the biometric data capture of all the food vendors contracted for the programme, to stop the replacement of the vendors from the original list by some mischievous officials.

He appealed to Parent Teachers Association and School-Based Management Boards to strictly monitor the programme and report anyone found undermining the process. Over 1.5 million pupils in over 4,000 primary schools are benefiting from the free feeding programme.


NFF Insist On Kaduna For Nigeria Vs Egypt Nations Cup Qualifier

The Nigeria Football Federation has concluded plans to have a hitch free match at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna when the Super Eagles battle the Pharaohs of Egypt in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on March 23.

The football house says it is not planning to change the venue of the match despite indications that coach Sunday Oliseh wants the game to hold in Port Harcourt.

The clarification came from NFF Assistant Director, Media and Communication, Ademola Olajire on Thursday who stated clearly that the match will not be moved from the northern city.

“I want to tell you without mincing words that the Eagles versus Egypt match would take place in Kaduna and that is final as regards the venue of the match,” Olajire told reporters.

But when asked about coach’s request for the match to be played in Port Harcourt for easy connection of flights for the Super Eagles players coming from Europe, the NFF spokesman said the federation will not shift ground for the trainer.

“Well, what I can tell you is that the coach cannot tell the football federation where the match would be played. It is the prerogative of the NFF to pick match venues,” he said.

Understanding The Value-Chain Of Elrufai’s Free Feeding Program By Mukhtar Garba Maigamo

“Education is freedom from want and the provision of free basic education in decent schools, with skilled teachers. This is one of the priorities this government will accomplish in its four-year term.” Nasir Elrufai October, 2015. ?

When, of recent the free feeding program in schools in kaduna state commenced, there is a state-wide jubilation by both parents and pupils, because this singular act of Elrufai has lifted a huge burden from the many parents in the state.

But, by filtering the joyous commentaries from the members of the public and the pupil’s parents, which is limited to the feeding of the children alone as the main objective of the exercise, then I can see that they all miss the point.

In fact most of us do not seem to understand the depth of Elrufai’s reasoning on this program and his vision, which is firmly rooted in the philosophy of making Kaduna great again.

Of course feeding school children is part of the mantra, but its value chain is more important as it is the value chain that will make Kaduna great again in all facets.

Let’s start from the economic view

We have about 1.8 Million children across the 4,000 schools, and about 3,200 cooks were employed into this program. Also based on the varieties of food to be served from Monday to Friday, we have items to be needed such as: Yams, Eggs, Tomatoes, Vegetables, Onions, Groundnut oil/palm oil Salt, Firewood, Maggi, Peppers, Fish, Rice, Beans.

Ok now, for us to understand the value-chain we will take a day, for example when Yam and sausage is to be served. It means that an aggregate of tubers of yams for 1.8 million pupils will be bought in the market for that day alone. Also eggs for 1.8 million pupils will be bought; tomatoes and peppers will also be bought. This means the sellers of these particular items will make sales; the transporter will also benefit, the firewood sellers, Salt and groundnut oil sellers will benefit also.

Also the day rice and fish is to be served or beans and spinach will be served, all these market activities pertaining such items will take place. It was mandated that also that each pupil is to bear one cooler for the food. If 1.8 million coolers are bought from market, you can imagine the profit margin of those coolers from their sellers.

With this type of market activities that is stimulated by the catering vendors employed for this single purpose of feeding, it is certain that there will be an expansion of microeconomics of the state.

It is equally certain that in the next four years to come, many people in this chain distribution will become millionaires. It is not magic but a foresight and pragmatism. And lucky us as we are endowed with a governor with such acumen and ability. And introducing this program is one of the Elrufais pragmatic approaches to creating job opportunities, reducing poverty, empowering women, increasing the state’s GDP, creating millionaires etc.

From the nutritional view:

Based on the rigorous study on child performance in school by the UN organs such as UNICEF, World Bank UNESCO, Food Commission and others, there has been a consensus that “Good nutrition in school improves child well-being and learning ability, leading to better academic performance”. Good nutrition also fosters mental, social and physical well-being, contributing to increased self esteem and positive body image.

However also, the study shows the links between the low educational developments in African countries (especially in Nigeria) and malnourishment of pupils at their formative ages. There is no wonder that we are suffering from depletion of human capital in the whole country.

But with this program now, there is no doubt that the literacy level  of our schools will increase, and it is  about time that other governors copy this free feeding program from Elrufai. Instead of them to always pay for their students WAEC and NECO fees but at the end of the day almost all the students fail.  The rate of WAEC/NECO failure can only be remedied through this program.

And no wonder me too, I’d  became a constant failure in my mathematics class because at my primary school I missed all the nutritional food that can make my brain to become sharp.


Mukhtar Garba Maigamo,

A Public Commentator is with Unity Bank Plc Kakuri Branch Kaduna.  08066792996

[email protected]

Kaduna Governor Adopts O’Meals

Mallam Nasir Elrufai of Kaduna state has adopted the Osun Elementary School Feeding and Health Programme known as O-MEALS for pupils in the state primary and junior secondary schools.

Elrufai-Eat Elrufai-Eat2 Elrufai-Eat3


The Kaduna version of the school free feeding programme will provide daily meal for 1.5 million pupils across the state.

Flagging off the programme at the Aliyu Makama Road Primary School, Barnawa, Kaduna, El-Rufai said the gesture marked the beginning of a different phase of the Kaduna State Government’s project to expand access to free education in the state.‬

‪He noted that the programme would save parents break-time money and empower the women within the community who have been selected as the catering vendors to serve in the various schools across the state.‬

According to the governor, “Today is a special day in the unfolding of the change agenda the APC was elected to implement. I am moved by the responsibility to implement the school feeding programme for primary school pupils.‬

‪”Every school day from today, the Kaduna State Government will be providing a meal for 1.5m pupils. It is an unprecedented undertaking in this state, but one that we solemnly pledged to do when we were campaigning. It is a challenge in terms of its scale, cost and the logistics required to deliver the meals everyday. But our children deserve this, and more.‬

‪”In fact, the school feeding programme is directly creating 17,000 jobs for catering vendors, each of whom will need to employ workers to help them deliver.

“Thus there is something for everyone in the School Feeding Programme. In seeking to take care of our children, we are creating jobs, boosting demand and exposing our people to new skills and hygiene standards and providing extra income.‬

‪”I urge everyone involved in the programme to discharge their responsibilities with the utmost sense of commitment, transparency and accountability. The monitoring mechanism must be rigorous, and we invite the school-based management committees and Parent-Teacher Associations to review and provide us their observations on the implementation of the programme at the school level.”‬

‪Earlier, Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology in the State, Dr. Shehu Usman Adamu, said emergency lines had been provided for callers to access the state free feeding programme.‬