Retirees, widows and orphans yesterday staged a peaceful protest against the Plateau State government’s alleged sale of their plots of land at Kangachik, Zawan area of Jos South local government area.
The protesters who carried placards with different inscriptions, appealed to Gov. Simon Lalong to stop the plan which is being orchestrated by the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development.
According to them, the previous administration in the state attempted taking over the lands forcefully but they challenged the decision and the case is still ongoing at the State High Court in Jos.
Elder Pam Dung told journalists that they legitimately acquired lands and have the documents to prove their ownership.
Dung said they were surprised that the present administration had silently begun the sale of the lands to other people.
“We want to let the public know our plight, we collected loans and bought the lands while in active service and they want to take lands from us.
“The Ministry of Physical Planing and Urban Development under former governor Jonah Jang approached us to sell the lands to government. They offered to compensate us with N190,000 per plot but we rejected the offer,” he said.
The retirees further said they rejected the offer because some of them bought the lands from the original owners at between N500,000 and N700,000 per plot, and cannot sell to government at a loss.
“We learnt that they are selling those inside for N2 million while those close to the highway are being sold at the rate of N3 million,” he alleged.
Another retiree told journalists that their lands had been confiscated by those in power, adding that government lied to them that they needed the lands for official use but to their chagrin, they are selling them to other individuals.
Mrs Mary Manu, a widow, said her land was bought by her late husband, and she had been struggling to pay her children’s schools and house rent.
She said they were hoping that government would raise a structure on the plot to alleviate their suffering only for government to come confiscate it without compensation.
“We are appealing to government to help us and give us our land back,” she said.