There was palpable tension early morning of Saturday, as shop owners couldn’t opened, for fear of demolition of their shops at Yankeke market, by the Jos Metropolitan Development Board (JMDB), Plateau state.
Chairman of the bicycle (Keke) sellers, Alhaji Abdul’aziz Adamu, said they reliably gathered that men of the JMDB, would demolish their shops Friday night, that was why they mobilsed and slept to protect their properties.
“Yesterday (Friday), at about 7pm, we saw four People, we knew one of them, Mr. Johnson Podar, a former staff of JMDB, and was telling the other three persons, how to come over with their caterpillar to demolish the shops at 1am.
“The matter is in the State High court 6, the judge has adjourned it to 17 December 2021. We don’t want trouble, but we will not allow them to destroy our shops and properties.”
He said the land was leased to them more than fifty years ago, on which they built the shops.
He said some years back the JMDB said their leased has elapsed, and that the board have allocated the land to a private firm belonging to one Mr. Mechibe Vwarji, an ally of Governor Simon Lalong.
“We went to court and secured judgment, and the court said we should be given the place again, since we are the ones that first did it,” he said.
According to him, the management of JMDB did not comply with the judgment, saying it has expired, and the board latter sued them at High court 6.
He said they have lost confidence looking at the way the court is handling the case.
Mr. Francies Mmiliong, a shop owner, said they closed their shops, due to the tension been meted on them by the JMDB.
“That they will come here in the night and pull down the shops…, we are in court with them,” he said.
Mr. Mmiliong, said they are paying all taxes and levies to government, “but some intruders want to take over the place from us, and the judgment we have is that they will not give it to any other person except we.”
Our correspondent reports that a community leader, the Makaman Jos Eng. Mansour Salihu Nakande, was at the venue, where he urged the traders to open their shops.
“It will be good if you open the shops, as I will do my best to ensure that justice is done,” he said.