Irate youths and traders on Tuesday, February 16, destroyed the private residence of the Niger State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso in Minna, Niger state.
Source gathered that the youth were angry over the demolition of their shops in the mini-market located along Brighter Road by the State Urban Development Board (SUDB) in Minna.
The traders and youths claimed that they were not given any notice before the demolition exercise, adding that their goods worth thousands of naira were also destroyed by the board during the demolition
One of the shop owners, Mallam Muritala, lamented that the state government has brought him down totally, adding that they never gave him any notice.
He said, “I was just sitting in my shop and they said come out, their bulldozer was stationed in front of my shop and immediately they brought me out forcefully.
“They brought down my entire shop without allowing me to pack my cash, goods and even other valuables. They have taken me back to zero levels, I’m left with nothing.”
Some of the youths who were still around when journalists visited the area wondered why the mini-market would be demolished and the residence of the Deputy Governor allowed to stand, since his house is on the same lane as their shops which was taken down.
Reacting to the development, the Acting General Manager of the Niger State Urban Development Board, Muhammed Daba said that the traders were duly notified before the board came to demolish the structures.
He said, “We have notified them earlier to remove the illegal structures before we began the demolition and by law, we are not obliged to notify them.”
Daba stated that some of his men were attacked when the youths began protesting the demolition, adding that they are currently receiving treatment in the hospital.
Meanwhile, the Niger State Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nas Abdullahi, confirmed that the members of staff of the board were attacked during the exercise.
He said, “They were attacked but none of the security officers at the scene was affected because they overpowered the youth.”
“One of the drivers who was affected has been taken to hospital for treatment.”