Members of the Yolan-Bayara community situated behind Bayara General Hospital, in Birshi Ward of Miri District in Bauchi Local Government Area of Bauchi State, have kicked against the state government’s plan to allocate 50 hectares of land to the Christian Association of Nigeria for the Christian Cemetery.
In a petition addressed to the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, copies of which were made available to journalists during a press conference on Sunday, the community called for an “urgent intervention to avert the occurrence of communal clash.”
The petition which was dated January 10, 2023, was titled “Petition against Bauchi State Government’s move to allocate Christian community, a 50-hectare of land belonging to the Muslim Community of Yolan-Bayara for Christian Cemetery.”
It was signed by the leader of the community, Sani Yakubu.
They argued that the entire 470 hectares of land where the proposed 50 hectares is to be given for the cemetery belong to the Muslim community.
They said they were reliably informed that the state government has made all arrangements to pay compensation to members of the Christian community for the acquisition of the land that does not belong to them.
“It is obvious that the physical survey embarked upon by the Christian community of the said land is to serve the purpose of building a Christian cemetery.
“This will no doubt bring about a religious crisis of high magnitude between the two religious communities with a devastating consequence of the breach of public peace, social unrest and general insecurity not only to the detriment of the immediate community in particular but the whole state in general. God forbid,” the petition read.
Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mukhtar Gidado, who was flanked by the Commissioner of Lands and Survey, Adamu Gabarin, told journalists at the Government House, that the said land had not been allocated to CAN by the government.
He urged members of the community to be calm.
Gidado said, “Though the land is yet to be formally given out because the government is still studying the processes, the public should therefore, note that in allocating government land to individuals and organizations, due process and decorum must be followed. And where land belongs to people, compensation must also be paid accordingly.”