THE Kaduna State government has explained that the decision to clear illegal structures erected under ‘High Tension National Grid Lines’ at Barkallahu community, in Igabi Local Government Area of the state, is to prevent a looming disaster that will result in loss of lives and property.
In a statement issued to newsmen in Kaduna and signed by the governor’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, the said clearing had become imperative to correct some misrepresentations.
The statement noted that the intention of the government was to first protect the lives of its people and ensure that all laws regarding acquisition and development of residential or commercial buildings in the state were adhered to.
The state government further stated that it had observed with dismay that some residents of the Barakallahu area in Rigachikun, Igabi Local Government Area had illegally built houses under high tension national grid lines, thereby exposing their lives to danger and harm.
This action, the government noted, contravened Section 29 of the Kaduna State Urban Development Agency (KASUPDA) Law No. 12 of 2015.
The statement revealed that it was for this reason that the Kaduna State Executive Council, in its 24th meeting on Monday, July 18, directed KASUPDA to “issue eviction notices to those who had built structures within 30-metre radius from the high tension national grid line in view of the looming danger.”
Members of the general public will recall that a similar case on the 16th January, 1999 led to disaster when a surge of electric current within two minutes led to the death of 13 people instantly, including women and children, while 53 people sustained injuries and several properties went up in flame in Farakwai village in the same local government.
The statement ended by reiterating that the action of issuing eviction notices was done “purely on humanitarian bases and in compliance with section 48(2) of the above law” and that the Kaduna State government will not fold its arms and watch its residents violate its building laws and put lives and property on the line.