The Nigerian Air force said it is set to reclaim its encroached land in Kaduna state, following Monday’s barricade of the Kaduna-Zaria highway by residents of Barkalahhu community in the state capital.
The said community is one out of several others playing host to the Airforce base in Kaduna.
Tesem Akende reports that residents Barkallahu community, situated along the Kaduna –
Zaria highway on Monday, barricaded the road for hours, leaving passengers stranded. It took the intervention of troops from the one mechanized division of the army to clear the road.
The locals wanted their voices heard, as they accused the Nigerian Airforce of forcefully taking over their land with a perimeter fence.
The locals pointed ata river as the demarcation between them and the Airforce base several decades ago, wondered why the force has chosen to be an unscrupulous partner in the contract it had with their forebears.
But Airforce authorities said they are working by what’s in the books. They countered claims of intimidation and harassment, adding that they’ve been professional all through.
A similar protest over land dispute between the community and the Nigerian Air force took place in 2011. But talks are presently on between the force, the Kaduna state government concerning the said land, and the wish of many is for the issue to be resolved amicably.