El-Rufai plots to demolish oldest Anglican church in Zaria, Kaduna CAN alleges
Kaduna State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has raised the alarm over an alleged plan to demolish one of the oldest Anglican churches in Zaria, following a quit notice issued to it by the state government.
CAN, therefore, drew Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s attention to the seven-day notice issued by the Kaduna State Urban Planning Development Agency (KASUPDA) for the demolition of Saint George’s Anglican Church in Sabon Gari, Zaria, which was built about 110 years ago.
A statement issued yesterday by CAN State Chairman, Reverend Joseph Hayab noted that the seven-day quit notice was purported to be a directive from Governor El-Rufai.
“The undated notice, addressed to: House No. 27, Church House, Sabon Gari Market, Zaria, which houses the St George’s Church, also claimed that compensation had been paid to the Church.
“Reference to the governor’s directive on the issue of Market development which compensation has been dually paid. However, you are hereby directed to vacate your resident within seven days from now, failure to comply will leave the Agency with no option than to evict you at your own expense,” the notice reads
However, CAN also disclosed that the signatory to the quit notice did not include his name, but it was rather signed by zonal head of KASUPDA on behalf of the Zonal Manager, saying: “We are alarm and apprehensive about this, if it is true that it is a directive from the governor, but we doubt it very much if the governor issued the directive.
“This is because in February 2016, the state government made moves to relocate the Church to pave way for the expansion of the market, but later realised that the Church has all valid documents and that even some parts of the market fall on the Church’s land.”
Meanwhile, Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf has restated the state’s commitment to promoting inter-religious harmony, insisting that Lagos remains home for all Nigerians irrespective of tribe or religion.
She stated this yesterday while addressing journalists on the ministry’s plans to commemorate the nation’s 59th independence anniversary in Lagos yesterday, noting: “while religion has become a source of instability in other states, it has remained our own source of strength and unity in Lagos.
“We make bold to say that Lagos remains the only state in Nigeria that has truly upheld the vision of the founding fathers in Nigeria and those who indeed fought for our independence as a nation.”
Specifically, she said Lagos remains the only state where every tribe and tongue is represented in the country, adding that the ministry has ensured the peaceful and secure nature of the state over the years through peaceful coexistence between Christianity and Islam.