The Kaduna state government has reacted to a list trending on the social media, purported to be names of “family and friends”, of Governor Nasir El-Rufai, who were allotted plots of land in choice locations in Kaduna by the government.
According to a report by Peoples Gazette, an online newspaper, those who benefited from the questionable allotments in the GRA, according to the list trending in the social media, include the governor’s first wife Hadiza Isma El-Rufai, second wife, Asia Ahmad El-Rufai and the third wife Aisha Garba El-Rufai.
Also mentioned in the list published by the online news platform, are the governor’s son, Bashir El-Rufai,Abubakar Sadiq, Kadaria Ahmed, a pro-government public relations consultant and Asia Ahmad, the governor’s sister.
Other beneficiaries, according to the list, include aviation minister Hadi Sirika, water resources minister Suleiman Adamu, Senator Danjuma Goje and former PDP chairman Adamu Mu’azu, among others.
Quoting sources in Kaduna, the newspaper said the assets were seized from senior civil servants and their families between 2015 and 2016, barely months after the governor assumed office.
However in a statement on Monday in Kaduna, spokesman of the governor, Muyiwa Adekeye, “denounced the attempt to smear all those who are being assigned plots under an accelerated development programme.”
He disclosed that the state government had allocated 4,359 plots to businesses, institutions and individuals in recent years as part of its efforts to accelerated development in its Urban Renewal Programme.
Adekeye also said the state government had issued 51,032 Certificates of Occupancy for new titles and recertification of previous titles apart from selling 2,028 non-essential residential houses 80% of which were bought by the civil servants who were sitting tenants, based on their market value.
The statement “denounced the attempt to smear all those who are being assigned plots under an accelerated development programme.”
According to Adekeye, “certain persons were allocated plots for accelerated development between six and 12 months, constituting less than 1% of the persons who have been assigned plots in recent years.”
Adekeye said the “KDSG is proud of the calibre of persons responding to its active canvassing of land applications, stressing that allottees within the accelerated development category constitute less than 1% of all those who acquired land in Kaduna state.
The statement said “Governor El-Rufai specifically directed that KADGIS should allocate plots of land to as many government workers and citizens who demonstrate active interest by applying”.
The statement maintained further that, “This active canvassing of land applications is connected to a desire for accelerated development of allocated plots.
According to Adekeye “the state is being actively positioned as a lower cost alternative to Abuja for active workers and a cheaper retirement option for senior citizens.’’
According to him, plots have been revoked from persons who have held on to them for years without developing them.
‘’Many of these plots in prime areas are being reallocated to individuals and corporate bodies with a strict mandate to develop them within six months to one year,’’ he added.
The statement pointed out that ‘’plots in the Millennium City are also being actively allocated as part of the deliberate focus on fast-tracking the development of the Eastern Sector of Kaduna metropolis.’’
Adekeye further said that apart from sale of non essential houses, the state government has also allocated plots of land to government workers and private citizens in its desire to accelerate the development.
The Special Adviser noted that the Kaduna State Geographic Information Service(KADGIS), “has issued 51,302 Certificates of Occupancy since 2017, for new allocations and the recertification of previous titles.’’
According to him, KADGIS has also allocated 4,359 plots in Kaduna to applicants, in a process that is open to all who apply and fulfill the conditions.
The statement recalled that ‘’as Minister of the FCT, El-Rufai allocated 27,000 plots to applicants, some of whom had waited for decades and promoted accelerated development programme which took land from speculators and allocated to those ready to develop them within set times.
Adekeye recalled that, “After his tenure as FCT Minister, there were attempts to question his powers as minister to allocate plots as lists, including any person with Rufai in their surnames, were circulated to smear him and his record in democratising access to plots of land and houses in Abuja.”
According to Adekeye, the ‘’Yar’Adua and Jonathan governments later used that as basis for criminal prosecution. “That ended in emphatic acquittal by the courts which upheld the power of the Minister of the FCT to allocate and revoke plots of land.’’
Below is the purported list of beneficiaries of the land allocation as published by an online newspaper, Peoples Gazette.