By Abdulwaheed Olayinka Adubi, Kaduna
Following an order by Kaduna State High Court to the state government that each of the shop owners in Kasuwan Bacci be reinstated back into the market, the affected owners have called on the government to respect the constituted authority by obeying the court order.
The court had on the 28th September, 2022 gave judgement in favour of the Plaintiffs (shop owners), instructing the Kaduna state government that the shop owners be adequately compensated.
Recalled that the state government tookover the market and subsequently demolished the old structure of the market sometimes in March, 2020, while about 4,600 shop owners were affected.
The traders of the Kasuwan Barci and Raga markets all within the Kaduna metropolis being dissatisfied by the action of the state government approached the court to interprete the extent of the powers of the state govt over the markets.
Meanwhile, the presiding judge, Justice A. Edward Andow, in his judgement on the above mentioned date, pronounced that the Kaduna state government lacks the constitutional powers to unilaterally takeover the Kasuwan Bacci market in the way and manner it did.
“The Kaduna State government is in breach of the constitutional provision vesting the creation and operation of markets in the local govts by usurping and arrogating to itself the clear powers and function of the local government,” the court ruling stated.
In jubilation of the court order, the shop owners flooded the street of Kaduna state on Sunday, urging the government not to deny them of their right as pronounced by the court.
According to the Chairman, Shop Owners, Alh. Abdullahi Maikano Kaya-kaya, while addressing the press, explained that after receiving the vacation notice, the shop owners sought audience with the state Governor, Nasiru El-Rufai which was granted but, the duo could not reach any agreement
He however, explained that they ( the shop owners ) pleaded with the Governor to either allow them build the shops themselves by using the authorized government building plan or give them another space to relocate, pending when government would rebuild the shops since the Governor promised returning the shops to the real owners.
While speaking, the Chairman of the shop owners said that government refused the proposal of the shop owners, hence their decision to proceed to the court.
“As shop owners, up until the Kasuwan bacci market was demolished, we were up to date with revenue payment. Kasuwan bacci is a market that is fully managed by shop owners because all the shops in the market were built by individuals unlike the other market like; Abubakar Gumi and Veterinary markets that were built and leased out by Kaduna state government.
“Our expectations of government was that, since she is aware that we built our shops ourselves on the land given to us by government, they should have either relocated the market or have adequately compensated us but instead, they ignored us and went ahead to demolish the shops.
“It is our prayer that Kaduna state government will respect this judgement by reinstating us back into the market and compensate us accordingly especially because, many shop owners have died, some are sick, while a few have relocated to other towns due to the demolision,” Kaya-kaya explained.
Meanwhile, during the gathering, the men of the Nigerian Police who were at the scene dispersed the shop owners from addressing their members and the press, had a serious confrontation with the sister security agency; the Kaduna State Vigilante Service (KADVIS), resorting into teargassing the crowd in the show of superiority.
Though, the shop owners regrouped to addressed the press.