Target: Malam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna state
Goal: Prevent the forced evictions of thousands of people from their homes in Kaduna state, Nigeria.
Hundreds of homes in the Kofan Doka, Kofan Kibo and Anguwan Alkali communities of Zaria are at risk of demolition as part of a government effort to “reclaim” lands it claims have been inhabited illegally. The demolitions will put thousands of people, including children and the elderly, at risk of homelessness. Sign the petition and demand that the government halt its plans and find alternative solutions.
Ninety-two homes in the affected communities have already been destroyed. The residents were given only three weeks’ notice of the impending demolition, and were informed that if they did not undertake the process themselves, the government would do so and charge them for the expense. Many of the families in the affected areas are poor and do not have the means to buy homes elsewhere. No compensation or alternative accomodations have been offered to them.
Furthermore, many of the residents have been living in the at-risk homes for over three decades and, as Amnesty International reports, others have “sale of land and certificate of occupancy documents, which legally recognize their right to live in the particular area.” These documents refute the government’s claim that the residents “have encroached into government land (Alhudda-hudda College) without the consent of the government.”
Nigeria is party to a number of international human rights treaties, all of which prohibit forced evictions except “as a last resort, once all feasible alternatives have been explored and only after appropriate procedural and legal safeguards are in place,” Amnesty reports. In order for an eviction to be considered acceptable, it must come only after “genuine consultation” with the affected people, and it must include compensation or comparable alternative accommodation. The proposed evictions in Kofan Doka, Kofan Kibo and Anguwan Alkali do not meet these standards and must be addressed. Sign the petition demanding a stop to the evictions until a solution can be fairly reached through consultation with the communities.
I am writing to demand an immediate halt to the forced evictions taking place in the Kofan Doka, Kofan Kibo and Anguwan Alkali communities of Zaria. These evictions fly in the face of Nigeria’s human rights obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, all of which prohibit forced evictions except “as a last resort, once all feasible alternatives have been explored and only after appropriate procedural and legal safeguards are in place.” I urge you to work with affected community members to ensure that they are not rendered homeless and are instead treated with fairness, dignity, and respect.
The proposed forced evictions would render thousands of people homeless, including children and the elderly. Some of the families have been living in their homes for over thirty years, and others have proof of legal residency in the form of sale documents and certificates of occupancy. This refutes the government’s claim that the residents are living in their homes illegally on government land, as the documents prove that the government had knowledge of the occupants and tacitly approved their residency.
I urge you to do what is right: stop the evictions and consult with the communities following the guidelines laid out in international human rights treaties.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nicolas Raymond