. . . CAN Hails Him
By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
By now the 110-year St. George's Anglican Church, Zaria would, have been in ruins if not for the intervention of the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
The Kaduna State Urban and Physical Development Agency (KASUPDA) had served the 110-year St. George's Anglican Church with a seven-day quit notice which it claimed was a directive from Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
But the Christian Association of Nigeria, Kaduna State Chapter, raised an alarm leading to the KASUPDA's boss, Ismail Dikko, reversing the eviction order on the Church.
The DG had said: 'The Church will remain based on its historical value, while the market source for expansion elsewhere.'
On this note the Kaduna State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria commended the Governor Nasir El-Rufai's Government's decision to save the over 100-year old church.
The CAN Chairman in the State, Rev. Joseph Hayab, disclosed that the Director General of the Kaduna State Urban Planning Development Agency, said the church would not be touched because of its historical value.
The CAN Chairman commended the state government for listening to the yearnings of the people by reversing its earlier decision to halt any demolition plan on the church.
The CAN leader said, 'We commend the government for this act. What we are saying is that government should remain a listening government. Democracy thrives when government listens to the people but when government does not listen to people, people think negatively about every action it takes.
'What we are doing is simply to remind government that we are not at war with them. We are just raising alarm; we are just another added eyes for them to see and know what is happening to people.'
It will be recalled that the Kaduna State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria had raised an alarm over a purported eviction order handed down to one of its churches in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The Kaduna State Urban Planning Development Agency allegedly served the 100-year old St. George's Anglican Church, Sabon Gari, Zaria, a seven-day notice which it claimed was a directive from the state governor.
The notice also claimed that compensation had been duly paid to the church. The notice, which was not dated, was addressed to House No. 27, Church House, Sabon Gari Market, Zaria, which in the actual sense, is St George's Church.
It read, 'Reference to the directive given by the Executive Governor on the issue of market development which compensation has been duly paid.
'However, you are hereby directed to vacate your residence within seven days from now, failure to comply will leave the agency with no option but to evict you at your own expense (from 19h – 24 September).'
The signatory of the notice did not include his name, but it was signed by the “Zonal Head” of KASUPDA on behalf of the “Zonal Manager”.
It was gathered that the agency planned to pull down the structures to pave way for the expansion of the Sabon Gari Market.
But the state CAN chairman, Rev. Joseph Hayab, in a statement in Kaduna, faulted the eviction order.
Hayab noted that the notice was suspect. According to him, such an order would not have emanated from the governor of the state, Malam Nasir el-Rufai.