Angry youths on Tuesday destroyed the private residence of the Niger State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, in Minna.
The youths were angry over the demolition of their shops in the mini-market located alongside Brighter Road by the state’s urban development board.
The traders and the youths claimed that they were not given notice before the demolition adding that their goods which were worth thousands of Naira were also destroyed by the board.
Majority of the traders said that they were not among the youths who destroyed the Deputy Governor’s house saying that the youths were sympathetic to their loss which was why they vented their anger.
The traders complained that they were not allowed to pack their goods and valuables and that notice was not given to them as they lamented that they had lost thousands of Naira.
Some of the youths who were still around when our correspondent visited wondered why the market should be demolished while the Deputy Governor’s house is left standing despite they were on the same lane.
However, the acting General Manager of the Niger state Urban Development, Muhammed Daba said that the traders were duly notified before the board came to demolish the structures.
He said that the structures were illegal and the Board has begun the demolition of illegal structures across the state.
“We have notified them earlier to remove the illegal structure before we started the demolition and by law, we are not obliged to notify them because if you are occupying an illegal piece of land that is not yours, that you don’t have any right on as far as government is a concern, it would be removed.
“However, we are very magnanimous enough to write them earlier through vacation notice for many months but the COVID-19 delayed us till this time, if not it would have been carried out long before now.
Daba stated that some of his men were also attacked when the youths began protesting the demolition adding that they are currently receiving treatment in the hospital.
The Niger state Public Relations of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nas Abdullahi, confirmed that the staff of the board were attacked during the exercise.
“They were indeed attacked but none of the security officers at the scene was affected because they overpowered the youths. But one of the drivers of the board was affected and he has been taken to hospital where he is receiving treatment,” he said.