Gombe State Government may soon embark on the demolition of structures and revocation of lands in the state capital, having set up a committee to chase out encroachers and recover illegally acquired lands in some government layouts.
Indications emerged at the weekend while the Chairman of the committee on the recovery of government layouts, Honourable Shehu Durbi explained that his duty is only to recover layouts and not a committee on demolition as it was being misconstrued.
His words, “This Committee is not for demolition as people are saying. It is a Committee for the recovery of government layout which we call Gombe Development Plan, GDP. Its only duty is to recover layouts.
“And in recovering layouts, definitely there must be some elements of demolition for you to recover.
“When you say encroachment, it means you have already entered into the existing layout and for you to restore, definitely there must be some demolition actually.”
He said government recently discovered that some miscreants were encroaching into some of its layouts, demarcating and selling them off to unsuspecting buyers under the pretext of selling their ancestral farmlands.
He said the affected layouts are GDP 16A and 16B behind Federal Teaching Hospital (FTH), GDP 20, GDP 4 and GDP 4A, GDP 12, GDP 27 and GDP 28.
He added that the most prone area is GPD 16A and GDP 16B due to their closeness to Shongo where the villagers after selling out their farmlands, also sold parts of their houses and thereafter start encroaching on the nearby layouts when there was nothing more to sell.
Durbi, who until the last general election the Commissioner of Lands and Survey also blamed the shady activities of some staff of the Ministry as contributing to the problem.
“This committee is timely because the earlier the situation is arrested, the better for the people and the state in general”, he said.
“So, the essence of this committee is to make sure that the plan is restored and to make sure that the original owners of land (government allotted) got their rights.
“We want to do the investigation to drive away the miscreants and to determine the genuine owners of the land – to differentiate between those people that have the right papers and those that are cheated.”
The 10-man committee has three months to accomplish its assignment which they have commenced by announcing that all physical activities (construction) and land transactions should be stopped in the affected GDPs pending all investigations.

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