Land grabbers have been encroaching into the land acquired some couple of months ago by the Management of the University of Jos. The attention of the Management of the University has been drawn to conflicting reports in the Media concerning its effort at stemming further encroachment into its land by these sets of dubious people.
The defunct Nigerian Bricks and Clay Products Limited were the previous owners of the land and it was purchased by the University through competitive bidding from the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE). Since the acquisition of the land, the University has been under siege by Land grabbers, leading to the erection of illegal structures most of which are built in the nights. Because the University is a Law-abiding institution, it sought the intervention of the State Government which led to the constitution of a 10 Man Committee under the Leadership of the former Management Committee Chairman of Jos North Local Government Council and Representatives of:
- The Ministry of Land, Survey and Town Planning
- University of Jos
- The Jatau Family
- Jos Metropolitan Development Board (JMDB)
- MD/CEO Ron Properties Development Company
- The District Head of Righizah
- Senior Ward Head of Naraguta and
- Ministry of Justice.
The committee highlighted above submitted its report to the State Government. After a careful study of the report, the State Government came up with a White-Paper in November 2019. The White-Paper authenticated the Certificate of Occupancy No PL9636 issued in 1988 measuring 119.50 Hectares issued to the Nigerian Bricks and Clay Products Limited, now the property of the University of Jos.
The unfortunate incidence of Saturday, 22nd day of February 2020 happened when the University was trying to secure its land by digging a trench to stop further encroachment into the land, when some irate youth forcefully chased workers on the site, though this is not the first time they have been confronting the workers, the recent turned out to be the most violent in which students were attacked and wounded. As a result of this outburst, the State Government summoned an emergency stakeholders meeting which included the University of Jos Management, the two Traditional Rulers of Rigizah and Naraguta, and others from the two communities. After exhaustive discussions, the Stakeholders sympathized with the victims of the incident and condemned the act of violence in totality. It further states that:
- The University should continue with the work it has started.
- The University should dig its trench for the demarcation 3 Metres away from any existing old building.
- All illegal buildings that sprung up after the acquisition of the land by the University should be demolished.
- The property in question is covered by a Certificate of Occupancy legitimately acquired by the University of Jos.
- The University, therefore, has the right to demarcate and secure its property against encroachment by Land grabbers and
- It was recommended that an Implementation Advisory Committee would be set up for the implementation of the Government White-Paper.