The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has raised the alarm over a 7-day quit notice issued to St. Gregory’s Anglican Church, Sabon Gari, Zaria, by the Kaduna State Urban Planning Development Agency (KASUPDA).
In the notice seen by TheCable, the agency said the failure to comply with the directive will lead to the forceful eviction of the church.
“Reference to the directive given by the Executive Governor on the issue of Market development which compensation has been duly paid, you are hereby directed to vacate your residence within Seven (7) days from now, failure to comply will leave the Agency with no option than to evict you at your own expense. (from 19h – 24 September),” the statement read.
The zonal head of the agency, who signed the notice on behalf of the zonal manager, did not include his name.
Reacting to the development, Joseph Hayab, chairman of CAN in Kaduna, said the association is alarmed over the quit notice.
“CAN wishes to draw the attention of the Kaduna state government to a quit notice to St. George’s Anglican Church in Sabon Gari, Zaria,” he said in a statement.
“The 7-day quit notice by the Kaduna State Urban Planning Development Agency (KASUPDA), is purported to be a directive from the executive governor.
“The notice also claimed that compensation had been duly paid to the church. We are alarmed and apprehensive about this if it is true that it is a directive from the governor. But we doubt much if the governor issued the directive.”
Hayab said the state government made moves to relocate the church over the expansion of the market at Sabon Gari in February 2016 but later realised that the church had all valid documents and that even some parts of the market are on the church’s land.
Hayab said following the presentation of the necessary documents by the church, the matter was resolved amicably.
He called on the governor to immediately investigate the quit notice from KASUPDA and take prompt action.
”This will go a long way in allaying fears and apprehension among Christians in the state and the nation at large,” he said.
“This unfortunate notice is coming just a few weeks after the alarm about the purported demolition of a mosque in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, which, upon investigations, was later confirmed to be false. We urge the governor to take a step to avert that kind of situation in Kaduna.”
Muyiwa Adekeye, spokesman of Nasir el-Rufai, the governor, said he was not aware of the notice.
“I am not aware of the notice you are talking about. What I know, and is a fact that is very much in the public domain, it is that the Kaduna State government is redeveloping and expanding markets, including the Sabon-Gari market” Adekeye said via a text message.
No official of KASUPDA could be reached for comments as of the time this report was filed