Berom Natives Seek Compensation On Airforce Base Lands, Federal Low-cost Estate And Proposed Stadium Site Lands Taken From Them
The Berom natives of North-Central Nigeria have raised alarm accusing the Federal and State government of forcefully taken over their ancestral farmlands which it said it was used to build, the Nigeria Airforce Base, Federal Lowcost Housing Estates, and the proposed site for a stadium in Jos South with no negotiations or compensation for over 40 years.
The worst-hit is Yingi new layout community of Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State who is accusing the State Ministry of Lands and Survey, Town Planning, and Jos Metropolitan Development Board, JMDB, of coming to demolish their houses and crops without proper compensation to the landowners.
The natives in an early hour Protest in Jos South LGA accused JMDB, Land and Survey Ministry of embarking on indiscriminate selling off their lands without paying compensation to original the landowners.
They disclosed that as a community they are embarking on a peaceful demonstration to demand our right because the land belongs to our forefathers and the Federal government approached us during the Late Administration of Solomon Daushep Lar to build an international stadium in which agreement wasn’t reached with the landowners.
They said: “We plan to institute a suit to challenge the Federal, Plateau State Government of Nigeria over non-compensation of 143 square hectares of our ancestral farmlands which are 40 years down the line, the lands include the proposed site for a stadium in 1980, and the present Airforce Base including Federal Lowcost Housing Estates, as they stated that no negotiations or compensation, was given to the natives.
“We have suffered a lot sending our children to schools but what concerns our people is that the Nigeria Airforce Schools is located here in Jos South LGA with none of our children being employed to work in any of the offices.
According to them, we are yet to be compensated, we don’t have any other place to go, we are also displaced somewhere during the crises but when we returned to our ancestral farmlands, we discovered that the Plateau state government through her agencies connived to sell these same hectares of lands to one company called Gura Nigeria limited and individual person in Bassa LGA.
Hon Moses Rwang Dung told this medium that there was no written communication with the landowners but on Thursday JMDB invaded their residence and destroyed and demolished their houses and crops worth millions.
Sometimes in 1982, the federal government approached our parents to use the proposed site to develop a stadium. There was no negotiation with them then in 1983 they came with N40 million compensation but the community refused that such amount is meager considering the large place.
“As we rejected the stipulated figures they left and came back during the regime of Jonah David Jang with the same amount of N40 million but the landowners boycotted the scheduled agreement and few years after one company called Guya Nigeria limited came and we insisted that they should contact our Chiefs but no body spoke to our traditional landowners.
In an interview with community leaders, Hon Alex Gyang speaks with a compassionate heart calling for dialogue and compensation of the landowners who have been waiting for the appropriate authorities for years.
Barr. Ben Davou a legal practitioner and a landowner complained bitterly that the government signified their interest to build a stadium but they couldn’t reach any concrete arrangement with the landowners which delayed the take-off of the project.
He added that few years after he heard the rumor that the state government is coming to take over with no single document and no compensation to the natives.
Davou explained that they’re peaceful people and they don’t want to engage in a physical confrontation with authority, as the situation turned around this way we are calling on the government to rewrite their mistake, or else we shall fight back.
Da Chief Peter Songs Pam, says a lot of his people have fled away due to the fear of the unknown, here in this community our youth left into exile in search of greener pastures because our land has been taken over without compensation.
However, Pastor Daniel John Gyang whose building had reached 90% completion was also brought down destroying everything.