A centre in honour of the late Nationalist, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, abandoned in Zungeru has been taken over by criminals who use the building as hide out.
LEADERSHIP Weekend investigations revealed that apart from the criminals it is also used as a ‘ joint’ to take illicit drugs, especially marijuana.
The construction of a centre at Zungeru in wushishi local government area of Niger State in honour of Dr Azikiwe was conceived in 1991 to honour him because he was born in Zungeru, one of the first seat of the colonial government before Almagamation of Nigeria.
Further findings revealed that the centre was to include a library and other historical shibboleth for tourism but the building has become a reindevour of criminals and drug addicts.
Residents of the area said instead of the centre to be a symbol of national cohesion the centre has become the hide out of criminals.
The chairman of Zungeru Community Development Association ZCDA Alhaji Salman Yusuf said that though the centre was conceptualized by well meaning individuals the state or federal government can take it iver to become a centre for national values.
He said that at a time that the nation is grappling with various security challenges , the Community is appealing to the government to do the needful about the centre before it poses further security for the Community and the state.
He said the amount needed to complete the centre is beyond what the Community could afford and therefore urge the government to use the centre for tourism to keep colonial relics instead of leaving it for criminals’ to occupy.
At the state ministry of Tourism and culture, all attempts to get the ministry officials to talk on the centre proved abortive as they insisted the project was not the state government’s project.
The Police Public Relations Officer PPRO Niger state command Wasiu Abiodun confirmed that abandoned projects like Zik centre are often use as criminals’ hide out.
He however assured that the state command under Commissioner of Police Monday Bala Kurya is more committed than ever , to dislodge any Criminal elements using such a place as hide out.