Leaders of Lafia North local government area in Nasarawa State have condemned the delay in the reconstruction of the demolished Federal Government Sesame Processing Centre, Shabu, built by the Federal Ministries of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Their protest came nine months after Governor Abdullahi Sule directed the Nasarawa Urban Development Board (NUDB) to reconstruct the centre.
The residents who spoke to journalists yesterday in Lafia, called on Governor Sule to set up an investigative panel to unravel the mystery behind the demolition of the centre.
A title holder, the Makongijin Shabu, Alhaji Muhammad Ubabu, condemned the act, stating that the demolition of the centre, had bring setback to the community and the state.
He, however, lauded the federal government for bringing the project to the community that would add value to the state.
“Youths oftentimes planned to revolt against the delay in the reconstruction, but the traditional ruler and other stakeholders always appealed to them to await the government’s response,” he said.
The president, Shabu Youths Movement, Mohammed Shaibu-Madaki, expressed displeasure that a project capable of taking the youths off the street had been demolished.
He said whenever they wanted to take any action, their leaders would appeal to them by giving assurance that the government would rebuild the centre, but wondered why nine months after nothing is being done.
The state coordinator of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ikechukwu Otomata, told journalists that the federal government through the ministry has decided to assist sesame farmers toward value addition before marketing given their recent rating as first in the production of the crop in Nigeria.
He said they received a distress call that NUDB demolished the project just a day after it was handed over to them by the contractor.
He said the centre was fitted with modern facilities which are still in the demolished structure, but when we wanted to move them to our office in Lafia, the traditional ruler assured us that the community would protect them,” he added.
He therefore said that the ministry was planning to handover the project to the state government before it was demolished by NUDB.
The managing director of NUDB Engineer Yahaya Wada said the centre was demolished for failing to get approvals before the project commencement.