An ardent supporter and diehard of the Kwankwasiyya Movement, a critical component of the New Nigeria Peoples Party in Kano State, Sanusi Balarabe, has lamented the ongoing demolitions of properties by the government of Abba Kabir Yusuf, describing the exercise as unreasonable and uncalled-for.
Speaking in Hausa in a viral YouTube video, Balarabe admitted to being a diehard Kwankwasiyya adherent with his entire family but regretted, however, that they did not vote for the Yusuf government to demolish properties in the state.
He said they believe in Kwankwasiyya because, in the past, its leader, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, performed creditably well which was why they voted for the NNPP.
“In all honesty, none of us voted for the government knowing it would carry out these demolitions. It is wasteful to demolish properties indiscriminately and therefore outright unreasonable and condemnable,” Balarabe, leader of the Mu Hadu Mu Gyara group, said in the video.
He regretted that all the shops being demolished belonged to Kano traders and not to foreigners from the Niger Republic.
“Even if they were owned by Nigeriens, at least they are human beings with entitlements, they improve the revenue base of the state by paying taxes to government which makes it a huge waste to demolish ordinarily productive assets.
“If for instance, each owner of a demolished shop were to pay just one thousand naira in taxation to the government, it would sum up to a huge sum that could be useful to the state,” Balarabe said.
He noted that the shops would have been put to better use if they were taken over by the government and reallocated to the less privileged at reasonably affordable rates rather than putting them to waste.
“If for instance, a small-scale trader who cannot afford N1 million rent for a shop at Kasuwan Kwari was to be allocated a plot in these targeted locations for like N100,000 it would be far better than demolishing them which is nothing but waste,” he said.
Reacting to government claims that the structures being demolished were illegally erected, Balarabe said, even at that, due process must have to be diligently followed by first setting up a commission of inquiry and other processes.
“It is a gross mistake and blatant abuse of power for the government to embark on such destruction without recourse to legal processes and it will be setting the wrong example to use a wrong to correct another wrong.
“At my level, I will advise the governor to suspend the demolitions, concentrate on the major assignment we voted for, improve infrastructure, get job opportunities for the people, and remind him that a lot of otherwise productive individuals are being sent out of jobs by this action which is clearly vindictive. He should not allow personal political sentiment to overshadow his sense of responsibility,” he said.