By Abanobi-Eku Onyeka
The Kaduna State government yesterday challenged Senator Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi, whose property housing the secretariat of the factional Kaduna State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to go to court, if he feels there was an infraction.
Alternatively, it challenged the senator to intensify what was dubbed “his smear campaign” against Governor Nasir el-Rufai and see if the people would not return the governor to office should he re-contest.
Answering media inquiries on the proprietary of the demolition of the property located at 11B Sambo Road, a stone-throw from the Kaduna State House of Assembly, the Special Adviser to Governor el-Rufai on Political and Intergovernmental Affairs, Mallam Uba Sani, said some people were being sentimental rather than focusing on if the law was violated.
According to him, the property was om violation of the state’s building laws on use and purpose, adding that people should avoid mixing issues or being sentimental.
He maintained that Senator Hunkuyi was merely instigating uninformed members of the public against the state government, wondering where the senator had been when the same Kaduna State government demolished over 40 buildings in the same Kaduna and dozen other buildings in Zaria, for similar offences.
“Is it because the Senator is a big man that he is whipping up sentiments? The question that should be asked is: did he violate the laws; did he pay ground rent; did he receive demolition notice and what did he do thereafter?
“He is just making noise and instigating people against the government because he is a big man. What did he do when the same government demolished other peoples’ property in the state? Is it because he feels the property that were demolished that time belong to small people that made him shut his mouth?
“We challenge him to go to court if he thinks he has any case against the state government. It is a very simple matter and the facts will speak for itself then. It is needless whipping up sentiments an issue that is as clear as broad day light.
“As far as the demolition is concerned, it is perfect; it followed the rules and the Senator knows quite well that he violated the law. People should not mix serious infractions with politics. They are not the same thing and can never be.
“What happened has nothing to do with APC or the creation of a faction of the party by him. He knows the truth, let him say it,” Uba insisted.
Senator Hunkuyi who represents Kaduna North Senatorial district, owns the demolished property, which he donated to the rival APC for use as its secretariat.
The action was greeted with protests on Tuesday and the Senate declared it “total tyranny” during its plenary.
The factional APC under the chairmanship of Danladi Wada, had last week Thursday issued Governor el-Rufai query for “anti-party activities”.
The Director-General of Kaduna Geographic Information Service (KADGIS), Mr Ibrahim Husseini, had explained that the demolition of the property was apolitical. He added that the Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency (KAPSUDA) carried out the demolition because the property violated purpose clause converting a residential building to a business plaza being used for political activities.
KADGIS claimed it issued a revocation notice of statutory right of occupancy No. KD. 16712 on the property delivered at No. 28, Inuwa Wada Road, the registered address of a construction company which held the title to the property.
The land, according to the state government has been allocated to KASUPDA for the purpose of developing and maintaining a public park for recreation in the residential neighbourhood.