By David Odama
LAFIA – YOUTH from all the villages in Karu local government area of Nasarawa state Wednesday disrupted activities at various developmental projects embarked upon by a private developer in communities across the local government.
The youths numbering about over 100 marched from one end of the community to the other chanting songs and carrying placards with various inscriptions such as “weno go free, Almakura develop our community, our community is under develop” amongst others.
Vanguard gathered that the pace of work on various projects has been slowed down due to complaints from some persons from the community on the activities of the developer very
Mr Yusuf Mohammed, leader of the protesting youths said the youths were protesting because the developer has slowed down the pace of work and reduced the number of workers of the various projects, thereby affecting many youths in the village who were previously engaged and earned a living directly or indirectly from the projects.
He added that another aspect of the current situation that led to the protest is that the slow pace of work will affect the actual completion timeframe of the projects and delay commencement of economic activities in the community.
Mohammed who revealed that a recent visit by officers of Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) allegedly instigated by the complainants may also have affected the pace work said youths in the community are in total support of the efforts of the developer which according to him will bring development and open the community to economic opportunities.
He however express worry that if complaints continue over the projects, the developer may stop the projects completely hence the protest to call on those kicking against the constructions to sacrifice their personal disaffection for the efforts of the private developer and embrace the general gains of the community when the projects are completed.
According to him, “I can tell you that this situation has made life difficult for us. We don’t know when the matter will be resolved. Since this man started these projects, many of us have been working to feed our families and the project will help develop our community. So we are not happy with the current situation. That is why we are protesting,” He said.
In an interview with one of the private developer handling some of the projects, Alhaji Abdulhameed Mahamud-Zari said his company G-Complex Company is currently constructing an automobile plant, shopping mall, hospital, an asphalt road, a private university and boreholes in the community.
Also speaking to newsmen, Mr Ibrahim Yahaya, a representative of one of the developer who confirmed that the pace of work has reduced due to complaints from some persons revealed that before the current development, a total of 316 youths were employed by the company with about about 200 been indigenes of the community. Protesters in Nasarawa
Yahaya who appealed to the youths not to take the law into their hands added that their protest showed how much they valued the efforts of the developer whom according to him is determined to transform the economic situation of the community despite the current setback and will re-engage them when all issues have been resolved.
“We are worried with this situation, but we know the matter will be resolved. We are in the community to develop it and not to create any havoc. So we are calling for urgent intervention from elders of Gundunma community, Emir of Keffi and other stakeholders to intervene in the situation and help resolve the crisis,” He said.
In a phone call interview with newsmen, one of the alleged complainant, Mr Abubakar Madaki denied been responsible for involving EFCC and kicking against the projects in the community, adding that he could not have kicked against efforts that will bring development to the community.
“I did not stop any project. Do i even have right to send any EFCC operative? It is a lie. So on the issue of me sending EFCC, i have gone to court to clear my name because i did not at any time send EFCC anywhere. I cannot stop any progress, He said.
Also speaking on the matter, Alhaji Gambo Abdulkadir, Village Head of the community confirmed to newsmen that he was aware of the conflict between the developer and some complainants including Abubakar Madaki but decline to give more details on who else is kicking against the projects and what efforts have been made to resolve the matter.
Abdulkadir who also confirmed that some farmers were not happy over the manner in which he acquired their farmlands despite paying them full compensation claimed not to be aware of the protest by the youths and called for calm while the matter is been resolved amicably.
According to him, “I can tell you that this situation has made life difficult for us. We don’t know when the matter will be resolved. Since this man started these projects, many of us have been working to feed our families and the project will help develop our community. So we are not happy with the current situation. That is why we are protesting,” He said.Related