The Kaduna State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria has raised the alarm over a purported quit notice handed to one of its churches in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The Kaduna State Urban Planning Development Agency allegedly served the 110-year St. George Anglican Church, Sabon Gari, Zaria, a seven-day quit notice.
The notice also claimed that compensation had been duly paid to the church.
The quit notice, which was not dated, was addressed to House No. 27, Church House, Sabon Gari Market, Zaria which is St George’s Church.
It reads, “Reference to the directive given by the Executive Governor on the issue of market development which compensation has been duly paid.
“You are hereby directed to vacate your residence within seven (7) days from now, failure to comply will leave the Agency with no option than 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 structure to pave the way for the expansion of the Sabon Gari Market.
The State CAN Chairman, Rev. Joseph Hayab in a statement on Thursday in Kaduna, faulted the quit notice.
Hayab noted that the quit notice smacks of foul play as according to him, such an order wouldn’t have emanated from the Governor of the State, Nasir El-Rufai.
Though in 2016, the Chairman claimed that the state had made such moves to relocate the church to pave ways for the expansion of the market but later realized that the Church had all valid documents.
The chairman in the statement entitled, ‘Governor Nasir El-Rufai should call KASUPDA to order,” partly stated, “We are alarmed and apprehensive about this if it is true that it is a directive from the governor. But we doubt much if the governor issued the directive.
“This is because in February 2016, the government made moves to relocate the church to pave way for the expansion of the market, but later realized that the Church has all valid documents and that even some parts of the market are on the church land.
“Following the presentation of the necessary documents by the church, the matter was resolved amicably. We wish to state categorically that no compensation was paid to the church.
“Where did the KASUPDA officials get this false information that compensation had been paid?
“It should be noted that the church which was founded about 110 years ago, was liberal enough to allow the market in question to operate in some parts of its land. Is it now a crime to be liberal and accommodating?
“How could the governor revisit the issue which was resolved amicably in 2016, by issuing a 7-day quit?”
The CAN leader also called on the governor to immediately investigate the purported quit notice from KASUPDA and take prompt action.
“This will go a long way in allaying fears and apprehension among Christians in the state and the nation at large.
By The Punch