.. Community leader attacks
By Achadu Gabriel Kaduna
Hausa community who constitute the larger population of the old Artisan market in Enugu state are yet to come to terms with one another following the disagreements over N4 million handed down to their leaders to evacuate the community from the old to a new Artisan market place.
Our Correspondent authoritatively learnt from leaders that Chairman of Hausa community who’s name was given as Yusuf Sambo was attacked by some irate youths for collecting the N4 million for the evacuation of Hausa community, a development that did not go down well with the youth of the community.
Governor lfeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State had during a meeting released N4 million cash to the leaders of the Hausa community to evacuate their people from the old Artisan market to the new one allocated to them by the state.
The Secretary new Artisan market Mr Ismail illiyasu Abubakar has dissociated himself from the saga, saying that he has no business with the N4million and don’t even know the whereabout of the money. The Secretary who spoke on phone Wednesday was however part of the delegation of the Hausa community leaders that had meeting with the Governor.
His words: “So this issue of N4m is not my business, I am not seeing the money and I don’t want to know how the money goes to”, he stated. For collecting the money, I don’t know who hold the money. So first of all, you know government is doing there things”.
Another popular Hausa community leader, Alh. Lawal Mohammed Ayavgah who confirmed the incident to our reporter explained that, Enugu Governor gave N4 million cash, after their meeting with him to evacuate the community to the new market where there is no single structure to accommodate family people among them to leave in.
Alh. Lawal who also dissacoted himself from the money further explained that even though their leaders and members don’t want to vacate the land, they still collected the money out of fear or what he could not explained and why?.
He said chairman directed one of the Exco members who collected the cash offered them to evacuate Hausa community to the new site reluctantly even when the governor refused to listen to their pont, telling them that he don’t care to know.
“The chairman of the market is unavailable due to injuries sustained as a result of attacks on him for advising occupants to prepare to parks after collecting the money from the Governor. I was advised to avoid the market for now”, he said
His vice who spoke to our Correspondent was however differ, saying that the court judgement covered the entire land and that notice had been served on them to relocated to temporary site, also adding that the governor did not give them any further two weeks notice as claimed by some of their leaders.
Findings revealed that Artisan market was officially Gazetted and published by Enugu state government on 6th April 2006, but vested State interest in the land by the indigenes and governor is reportedly overiding the gazette as over 70 percent of Enugu statesmen supported ejection of Huasa community and coys from the land. Occupants of the old Artisan market is predominantly Hausa.
Our Correspondent also informed that a day after the meeting with Governor Ugwuanyi, the market, located along Enugu- Port Harcourt road, was invaded by people suspectedly sponsored by Citi Gas company, with bulldozers and security personnel and over 200 thugs, to commenced demolition without prior notice, but resized by youths.
Earlier, eyewitness and former Chairman of Artisan market, Alh Adamu Mayiwa said the demolition attempts was however met with stiff resistance by some unidentified youths who also sustained various degree of bullet injuries, including a woman who broke her hand while running aimlessly for their lives as result of sporadic gun shot by the police during the invasion.
The Market fence and main gate leading to the premises of old “permanent site” was pulled down by the bulldozers, and some shops destroyed by the alleged Citi Gas company induced demolition, who were later chased away leaving their tools and equipments behind, Maiywa Sani revealed.
Passersby vehicles were also reportedly attacked during the fury, and their vehicles destroyed beyond repair by the rampaging youths, a day after meeting with the governor, according to Maiywa, who lamented all their mosque including Jumat mosque were marked for demolition.
All efforts made to speak to Chief Press Secretary to Enugu Governor proved abortive as a security officer bearing “General” and the Executive Secretary Muslim pilgrimage welfare board, Enugu were fruitless. End