By Ifedayo Adebayo
August 18, 2009 06:05PMT
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Forty-year-old Lawal Musa wept profusely when approached by the reporter. His mother and his two-year-old daughter, Auwa, could not but join him. "Come and see my house. They destroyed it and since then we have been sleeping outside," he said, in-between sobs.
Mr. Musa is just one among hundreds of others with sad stories to tell about the establishment of the National College of Petroleum Studies in Kaduna State. Peasants are also kicking against a school that will bring them woes.
For many Nigerians, their angst against the move is below the radar. The stiffest hostility to the establishment of the college is coming from the South-South. But NEXT can authoritatively say that the Kaduna community that is supposed to host the college is also up in arms.
Since the government announced the establishment of the school, tempers have risen in Kaduna equal to the one from the Niger Delta region on the proposed move.
NEXT's investigation revealed that the Fulani and Gwari people of Anguwan Kaji, the site earmarked for the college, are not amused. These people like their Niger Delta counterparts also detest the proposed move to host the school.
"The companies handling the construction of the school came and gave us just 30 minutes to pack out, they said work must start," Kadir Abdul, another displaced person said. "They started destroying our houses and now I am homeless and the governor has not come back to show us where to go. They destroyed my father's house. It used to be here; now it is gone."
Several months after, the government's pledge to relocate the Fulani community that inhabited the site has gone unfulfilled, leaving the people confused about whether the Kaduna State governor, Namadi Sambo really meant his words.
Some 57 years ago, they came to the present location when it was just thick forest. The community populated by Fulani herdsmen had lost almost the first generation of its settlers. Of that generation, only 70-year-old Musa Abdullahi, the village head of Anguwan Kaji remains alive. He said his people are ready to leave the place for wherever government may want to take them. Sadly, Mr. Sambo's government has not been committed to its pledge.