Youths and police Youths and police clash as Benue UDB Demolish Mosqueclash as Benue UDB Demolish Mosque

Youths of New Garage Makurdi last week clashed with men of the Nigeria Police as well as the Monitoring unit of the Benue state Urban Development Board, embarked on a demolition of illegal structures mission in the area yesterday.

The clash which resulted in gunfire exchange between youths of the area and men of the Nigeria Police force drafted into the area to quell the uprising was said to have stemmed from the destruction of the mosque and offices of the brick layers in the area.

atiterkula gathered that the fracas erupted as a result of the eventual demolition of the mosque situated in the area which the Muslim faithfuls who dominate the vicinity saw the  matter as an aberration of their religion and faith.

According to a member of the brick layers association, Mal. Usman Hashidu, the bricklayers were challenging the government’s decision to run over their business site with bulldozers as according to him they had been embroiled in a legal tussle with the government over legal rights to the said property but had lost at the High Court thus proceeded to the Court of Appeal to seek redress. A move which they expected the state government to have exercised restraint pending the decision of the upper court.

Also speaking to our correspondent, Chairman of the Union, Alh. Mohammed Alfa, complained that their grouse with the government was that they had entered into an agreement with the state government who has not yet played their part of the bargain. According to Alfa, the government had promised compensation and a relocation site which is at the moment crisis ridden and thus they could not access it.

He further threatened that they were not going to take the situation lightly as the union was going to meet to finalise modalities aimed at staging a major protest to press home their agitations and demands.

Although the Commissioner for Housing and Urban Planning was in his usual manner unavailable for comments, the General manager Benue Urban Development Board, Bar. Musa Suleiman who led the demolition exercise, told newsmen that the demolition was apt owing to the fact that the brick layers were in his words, “aggressors against the master plan of the state.

According to him the brick layers were trespassers who had no titles to the said land, noting that even the structures demolished were illegal structures which invariably had contravened the urban laws. He also confirmed that the demolition was in order to make way for the long planned Benue Beach Project aimed at pulling tourists into the state.

Commenting on the issue of the demolished mosque Bar. Suleiman, said it was not in any way a religious matter but a matter of legality as he was also a muslim and would not jeopardize his own religion but advised that even religious institutions should be respectful of the law.


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