…Protests allege destruction of college wall, tress; defies court order.
…Calls for withdrawal of El-Rufai’s degree certificates.
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria branch, on Monday said attempts by Kaduna State Government to take over parts of the university land is an insult to the founder, the late Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello.
ASUU made the assertion at a press briefing on March 7, 2022, at its College of Agriculture and Animal Science, Mando, Kaduna.
“Sadly, we are here once again to update you on the encroachment on Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) lands, covering 196.258 hectares, situated at College of Agriculture and Animal Science, Mando, by Kaduna State Government under the leadership of Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai.
“His desperate attempt to take over the land is affront and insult to Sir Ahmadu Bello Sardauna’s indelible legacies’ public education.
“This is quite despicable when one considers what Governor did to citizens of Kaduna State, who built houses around Huduhuda College and Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria,” ASUU stated this in the text of the briefing read by its Chairman, Haruna Mohammed Jibril.
According to the text, titled, ‘A Call on Governor Nasiru Ahmed El-Rufai to Respect the Rule of Law,’ ASUU said that the government is playing double standards. “This action is a clear double standard and a mind-set out to destroy without basis,” the group added.
They recalled that on January 13th, 2022, their union issued a release where they cautioned the Governor of Kaduna State to ‘desist from this callousness and unlawful takeover of the property belonging to ABU Zaria.’
“However, instead of abiding by the caution, he went ahead to destroy the wall of the college and several trees (it is instructive that the trees destroyed are more than fifty years’ old) using bulldozers of Kaduna State Urban Development Authority (KASUPDA) under the watch of over one hundred well-armed security personnel, despite subsisting Interim Court Order restraining the Governor and Attorney-General, their servants, agents and privies from further action by the Court.
“The Court Order was granted on the 18th of January, 2022, by Justice K. Dabo of the Federal High Court, Zaria,” they stated.
The group said that, in the face of the restraining injunction granted against the Governor of Kaduna State and his agents, Malam Nasir el-Rufai and his Attorney-General in utter disregard to this order, directed KASUPDA to trespass and further cause devastation on the land.
“The Solicitors of University thereafter issued a letter to the Directors-General KASUPDA and Kaduna Geographic Information Service (KADGIS), 14th February, 2022, where the Governor and his agents were warned to desist from further trespass and destruction of the land or else proceed with contempt proceedings against him and his ruthless privies.
“In addition, the action of the Kaduna State Government, under leadership of Governor el-Rufai, is at best sadistic and is in clear with Section 49 (1) and (2) of the Land Use ACT, Cap L5 LFN, 200 exempts Federal Government lands from management and State Governors.
“We urge the general public to look at this act, in order to fathom the extent of lawlessness perpetuated by the Governor,” they stressed.
Based on the foregoing, ASUU called on the authorities of Ahmadu Bello University to institute an action on the Government of Kaduna State and for compensation on the destruction of the wall of the college, felling of trees, distortion of flora and fauna and the entire environment.
“The Senate of Ahmadu Bello University to formally withdraw the degree certificates awarded Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai, as his many actions are in contravention of the requirements in character and learning deemed worthy of Ahmadu Bello University degree award,” they demanded.