Senate Attack El-Rufai’s Govt Over Demolition of APC Faction’s HQ
The crisis rocking the Kaduna State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has taken a new dimension as the office of the faction led by Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi was demolished on Tuesday.
Though the Kaduna State Property Development Agency claimed responsibility for the demolition, the senator representing Kaduna Northern Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Hunkuyi, claimed that Governor Nasir el - Rufai personally led a bulldozer to demolish the building.
Hunkuyi, who donated the property to the APC faction as its headquarters, said on his Twitter handle , “In the early hours of today (Tuesday), the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el - Rufai, personally drove a bulldozer, accompanied by armoured tanks to destroy my house at 11B Sambo Road.”
The ‘APC Akida ’ and the ‘Restoration APC ’ had, while unveiling the headquarters on Thursday, said they had to relocate to the new office “to avoid the activities of thugs.”
However, less than 24 hours after, the office was marked for demolition but the APC factional officials were unperturbed as they used the facility on Sunday to announce the suspension of the governor for six months.
The suspension was overturned by the party executives loyal to the governor, who said that the Hunkuyi -led faction had no such power.
Reports say the demolition was carried out amidst tight security.
A security source, who pleaded anonymity because he was not permitted to speak on the matter, said the demolition took place at about 5 am.
Residents of the area said they were woken up by the loud sound of the bulldozer pulling down the building around 5 am.
However, the Director - General, Kaduna State Geographical Information Service, Ibrahim Hussein, said the house was “removed ” for flagrant violations of the land use law and the non- payment of ground rent since 2010.
Husseini said the land had now been re -allocated to KASUPDA to build a recreation centre in the area.
Meanwhile, the Senate at the plenary on Tuesday urged el -Rufai to compensate Hunkuyi for demolishing his building.
The upper chamber of the National Assembly specifically asked el - Rufai to rebuild the structure.
The resolution followed a point of order raised on the floor by the lawmaker representing the Kaduna Central Senatorial District , Senator Shehu Sani, who formally reported the demolition to the Senate and castigated the governor for playing politics of bitterness.
He said , “This comes a year after the same governor demolished the residence of Alhaji Inuwa Abdul -Kadir , the National Vice-Chairman ( North -West ) of the APC . This is a series of arbitrariness and of tyranny perpetuated by the governor against dissenting , opposition voices in the state .”
The senator warned that such acts would send a message to people within and outside the state to remain silent on issues bothering them.
Sani said, “I will say very clearly here that in the last two and a half years , we have been faced with tyranny in our state. My constituency office was attacked by violent thugs more than 11 times and it has also been very clear that armed military and policemen have been consistently used by the governor to intimidate and harass people who don’t agree with him .
“It is of concern that after about 20 years of military rule , a man with such a rabid ambition and arrogance of power can appropriate to himself power to act outside the law . How can a democratically elected governor demolish a house without notice simply for the fact that we have set up an office different from the one he has personalised for himself as a so -called party man ?”
The lawmaker called on Buhari to caution his “beloved son who has unleashed a reign of terror and has behaved in the most despicable and irresponsible way . ”
In his ruling , the Deputy President of the Senate , Ike Ekweremadu , who presided over the plenary , described the demolition as condemnable , while extending his sympathy to Hunkuyi “on the destruction of your house .”