Nigeria

Official: Kaduna government not demolishing NUJ secretariat

The Kaduna State council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has denied a media report that the state government planned to demolish the union’s secretariat in the state.

The chairperson of the NUJ in the state, Adamu Yusuf, in a statement on Thursday, said the government is not demolishing the secretariat as was reported, but asking for the remodelling of the shops attached to the secretariat.

“The letter posted on the wall of the front shops today was by the Director-General of Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Authority, Ismail Umar Dikko.

“It is true that Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency an agency of Kaduna State Government served the Council a ‘Notice of Demolition’ today, Thursday 23 September 2021, but for the front shops facing Muhammadu Buhari Way and not NUJ Secretariat as widely circulated.”

The official said the notice with a 21-day ultimatum is a final warning to both the NUJ and its development partner (Kaduna State Market Development Company) to comply with the directive to remodel and create parking space for members of the Union and customers who use the secretariat premises.

“Before today’s notice, the Council was served the first letter dated 2nd August 2021 and its Exco responded immediately with a physical visit and subsequent meetings with KASUPDA and Kaduna State Market Development Company, which is the Development Partner that took responsibility to fund the Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement with NUJ to construct the 16 shops in question,” Mr Yusuf added.

He said the resolution reached with KASUPDA was for NUJ and Kaduna State Market Development Company to remodel the existing structure (front shops) such that the doors facing the road would be inside the compound.

“That NUJ should create adequate parking space for members and customers to avoid indiscriminate parking on the newly dualised Muhammadu Buhari Way in line with the Urban Renewal projects.

“That NUJ should provide ‘As-Built Architectural Design’ to accommodate the new structures with the entire NUJ Secretariat.

“Against this background, the Council wrote a letter to Kaduna State Market Development Company for a meeting on the resolutions reached with KASUPDA and it was granted immediately and a meeting was held with the Chairman and Secretary, who represented the Council.

“Resolutions were reached with an agreement to first get an Architect to work on the ‘As-Built Design’ to reflect the remodelled structure in line with the directive from KASUPDA. And to also create adequate space for parking, which has been done.

“But due to the delay from Kaduna State Market Development Company to remodel the shops and convert the doors facing the road inside the compound within the first stipulated time frame of two weeks, more so, to stop indiscriminate parking of cars on the road, the second notice became expedient.

“However, there is no cause for alarm as all necessary measures to comply with the directive to remodel and stop indiscriminate parking on the major road is being taken.

“Please note that as published in the obscure online platform called Capital Post that ‘The letter which asked the NUJ to quit within 21 days of receipt of the letter, lamented the recalcitrance of the NUJ management that has delayed demolition action that would have taken place before now’ written with intention of mischief and calculated attempt to blackmail Governor El-Rufai.

“The letter served did not ask the entire NUJ Secretariat to quit but for the demolition of the built front shops attached to the Secretariat if there a Failure to comply with the initial order to remodel and stop indiscriminate parking on the major road,” the NUJ chairperson concluded.

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