Civil-Military Land Disputes: Like Jaji, Like Barakallahu By Abdulrahman Mohammed Alfa



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My attention has been drawn to recent news reports that the Commandant of Infantry Centre and School, Jaji had paid a courtesy visit to His Excellency the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa. The reports precisely indicated that the Commandant’s visit was essentially to appeal to the Kaduna State Government (KDSG) to intervene in the impending land dispute between his Infantry Centre and the neighbouring civilian settlements that he alleged were encroaching on the Military land. The Commandant was apt in saying that he did not want the issue to drag on or embarrass either the Military or KDSG the way that of Nigerian Air Force and Barakallahu did and was still doing! The Commandant, the reports further revealed, pledged his commitment and that of his Military Unit in abiding by the decision of KDSG in its intervention.

I particularly noted the Governor’s favourable response to the Commandant’s request for KDSG to intervene in the matter. I also noted his appeal for peaceful co-existence between the Military and their neighbouring civilian settlements in Jaji pending the resolution of the land dispute and even thereafter.

From the above development, one could clearly say without fear of being contradicted that the people of Barakallahu that have been fighting over the same issue of land dispute with the Nigerian Air Force since 2002 have been neglected and discriminated upon by the successive Governments in the State! From the two cases, I want to say that what is good for the civilian settlements and their neighbouring Military zone in Jaji is equally good for people of Barakallahu and Nigerian Air Force. Simply put: Like Jaji, like Barakallahu!

I personally do sympathise with the people of Barakallahu for so many reasons: they have equally been pleading with the Kaduna State Government to intervene between them and Nigerian Air Force so as to achieve peaceful resolution of the dispute, they had severally approached the Nigerian Air Force, National Assembly, Kaduna State House of Assembly, Ministry of Defence etc but unfortunately nobody, agency or arm of Government had given them the assurance His Excellency the Executive Governor had given the visiting Commandant from Jaji! The hitherto cosmopolitan and peaceful Barakallahu is now having a contingent of Nigerian Air Force permanently stationed there; call it the peace of the grave yard! It was even shamefully in the news recently on how the same Air Force contingent ‘dealt’ with Barakallahu women to the extent that some of the women were hospitalized due to torture!

I, therefore, wish to appeal to our amiable, just and  peace-loving Governor  to come to the aid of people of Barakallahu by saving his equally peace-loving civilian subjects there from the Nigerian Air Force! If he could do it for Jaji, for God’s sake, why not Barakallahu too?

Abdulrahman Mohammed Alfa

No 6, Mukum Close, Badarawa

 


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