Plots to Demolish one of the Oldest Church in Kaduna State by Governor El-Rufai’s

With respect to the quit notice issued by the Kaduna State Urban Planning Development Agency (KASUPDA), to demolish one of the oldest Anglican churches in Zaria, we hereby drew the attention of the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai’s over the 7-day notice and alleged plan to demolish the Cathedral of Saint George’s Anglican Church which is one of the oldest Anglican Churches in Zaria, Kaduna State. This said Cathedral Church was built about 110 years ago.

The 110 years old church
The entrance into the Cathedral Church

The seven-day quit notice was declared to have been a directive from Governor El-Rufai addressed to: House No. 27, Church House, Sabon Gari Market, Zaria, which houses the Cathderal of St George’s Anglican Church. The Authority of the state government claimed that compensation had been paid to the Church.

The front view of the 110years old cathedral church in zaria.

As at the time the Kaduna Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend John Hayab contacted the personnel who issued the letter, it was claimed to have been an order from the governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and quoted as follow:

“Reference to the governor’s directive on the issue of Market development which compensation has been dually paid. However, you are hereby directed to vacate your resident within seven days from now, failure to comply will leave the Agency with no option than to evict you at your own expense, from 19th to 24th September, 2019”.

The inside view of the cathedral church

Conversely, in a statement by CAN, it was observed that the signatory to the quit notice did not include a name, though it was instead signed by the zonal head of KASUPDA on behalf of the Zonal Manager, saying: CAN thereafter exclaimed “We are alarm and apprehensive about this, if it is true that it is a directive from the governor, but we doubt it very much if the governor issued the directive”.

“This is because in February 2016, the state government made moves to relocate the Church to pave way for the expansion of the market, but later realised that the Church has all valid documents and that even some parts of the market fall on the Church’s land”.

The Vicarage
The side view of the church encroached by Sabon-Gari market

Just recently, in a similar Scenario, following the presentation of the relevant documents by the church, the matter was amicably resolved previously.
We therefore asked if the KAPSUDA officials are playing a script or are they being used by some unidentified enemies simply to provoke religious crises?

It can be recall, that 110 years old church was so kind-minded to have allowed the said Sabo-Market in question to occupy some portion of its land. Has that make it a crime to be kind-heatred and accommodating?

How could the governor issue a 7-day quit notice for an issue that has been resolved in year 2016? We are optimistic that this could be the manipulation of some unscrupulous entity to cause chaos in Kaduna State.

The pastoral building
The church guest house encroached by the market

The Bishop of Zaria Anglican Diocese, The Rt Rev’d Abiodun Ogunyemi, has written an official letter to the National body of the Anglican Communion body to intimate them of the development.

“We are shocked with the development but we have all our documents which we bought the land and as it is, part of the market belongs to the Church which has been in existence for over a hundred years without any problem from any past administration in the State.

“We are praying that justice will take its cause on the matter because as a Church, we followed all the legal and genuine procedures in obtaining the land and out of our magnanimous deposition, we allowed part of the land to be occupied by the market, knowing fully well that our documents are genuine.”

We therefore present to you some of the photo view of the 110 years old Cathedral of St. Georges, the Vicarage, the guest house and some sections of the church land occupied by the Sabo Market.