At least 140 houses in Graceland community in Zaria local government area of Kaduna state have been demolished by the state government.
Graceland community is located behind the Nigerian College Of Aviation Technology (NCAT) in Zaria.
The demolition exercise which was carried out by Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency (KASUPDA) began on Monday and officials of the agency claim the owners of the houses illegally encroached into portions of land belonging to the Aviation college.
Several resident were seen stranded and weeping as they packed their properties out of their houses before the commencement of the operation.
The residents who have lived here for over two decades are in court with the Aviation college, battling over who owns the land. Some of them argue that they legally acquired plots and obtained documents from the Kaduna state government.
Meanwhile, Spokesperson of the Aviation college, Balarebe Muhammad, in a statement said plans to expand the college necessitated the process which he called ‘ a recovery of the Aviation college land’
According to him, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has upgraded the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Zaria to a regional training center.
He explained that the expansion of the Aviation institute would allow it accommodate bigger aircrafts as it’s runway would be expanded.