A Human right organization, Prison Inmate Development Initiative (PIDI) Nigeria, has demanded the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Itas Gadau local government of Bauchi state, Ahmed Adamu, to desist from forceful trespassing on farmlands belonging to the people of Gizere and Fulani Dandin community in Itas-Gadau local government area.
In a letter which was made available to newsmen in Bauchi by the Executive Director of the human right organization, Mbami Iliya Sabka dated 1st May, 2020, stated that his organization received a complaint on 15th March, 2020 from two Fulani communities in Itas-Gadua local government area of the state through their representatives, Ali Usman, Musa Ya’u and Samaila Maigari, over the forceful trespassing of their farmlands by the local government Care-taker Chairman.
“On the 8th April, 2020, the people of Gizere and Fulani Dandin complained that some people from Itas-Gadau local government, led by the Deputy caretaker committee chairman, Sule Babayo, intruded and started clearing part of Dajin Gizere (Part of the farmland) with an intention to sell it to some rich men.
“A three-man committee set up by the communities went to the house of the Deputy Chairman to know the reason behind his actions. The chairman pleaded with them not to raise any agitation, promising to compensate them with four plots of land which they disagreed.
“Angered by their stand, the deputy chairman threatened to use Policemen and other security personnel to evict the two communities, threatening to seize the land and personally use it or even sell some parts to whoever he wishes,” the letter read.
According to PIDI, the deputy chairman made real his threat on the communities on 15th April 2020 when he led some well-armed military personnel to the area, claiming to have the backing of the Caretaker Committee Chairman to supervise the partitioning of the land into portions and handover same to land dealers.
The organization observed that the actions of the local government chairman is capable of smearing the image of the Government which is people orientated and capable of degenerating into a communal clash if not checked.
It could be recalled that Governor Bala Mohammed had some months back suspended the three caretaker committee chairmen of Ningi, Darazo and Kirfi local government areas over high-handedness, among other offences.
The right group alleged that the chairman has been allocating lands to individuals and organizations worth millions of naira and using same for personal gain.
PIDI Nigeria said they have information from a reliable source that local government chairman has been boasting that his actions have the backing of the deputy governor of the state, threatening the communities that no one can rescue them.
In a swift reaction to the letter, the chairman said that his action was in line with the land use act chapter 202, laws of the federation of Nigeria 1990.