Why Kaduna residents are deserting homes in new layouts | Dailytrust

Why Kaduna residents are deserting homes in new layouts

  An overview of the Danhonu II community in Kaduna’s Millennium City. Security agents say new layouts are targets of attacks because the houses are staggered
An overview of the Danhonu II community in Kaduna’s Millennium City. Security agents say new layouts are targets of attacks because the houses are staggered
  • Scarcity, high rent hits metropolis

Aliyu Ibrahim (not real name) was abducted by bandits along Kaduna-Birnin Gwari Highway in December and had to sell his house for less than N1million to raise part of the N4million ransom eventually paid for his release. In order to avoid Ibrahim’s fate, Yakubu Dahiru, who built and relocated to his home in Keke community of Chikun LGA has abandoned the house for a rented self-contained apartment in Tudun Wada, Kaduna South LGA.

In August 2020, gunmen dressed in military uniform invaded Keke community, killed one person and abducted over 20 people. Prior to that, gunmen had in May attacked Danhono II and Doka Mai Jama’a where a village head, a banker and his 11-year-old daughter were abducted.

Since the attacks, many residents living around such new layouts have fled, abandoning their personal homes for rented apartments in the metropolis. “I rented a self-contained for N120,000 and many people say I got it cheap because houses are now very expensive in the city,” said Dahiru. “The insecurity is no longer in the villages, the bandits are coming closer to us and it is better to leave than to be abducted and then forced to sell the house to pay ransom,” he said.

He said since the attack on Keke last year, he has not returned to his home and has been unable to get someone to rent the house. “I have not even gotten anyone to guard the house because people are scared,” he said.

Daily Trust Saturday reports that many residents who own houses along new layouts in Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Chikun and Igabi local government areas of the state are abandoning their homes to relocate to more congested areas within Kaduna metropolis where they feel is more secured. With most of the new housings within the metropolis catering for upper income households, this has left a large housing deficit for middle and lower-income households.

Our correspondents gathered that in the last 10 years, lower income households have found housing respite in new layouts where they are able to buy plots of lands at affordable rates, then gradually develop and occupy them.

According to the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers in Kaduna, the opening of the Eastern bypass created a lot of such new layouts and afforded many low-income earners to buy plots of lands at cheap rates of between N100,000 and N200,000. “Market women and those who do menial jobs bought lands and built their homes. The only problem was the distance from the metropolis and the roads were jampacked in the evenings but they made the sacrifice as long as they were living in their homes,” said the Institution’s branch chairman in Kaduna, Esv. Olubumi Ogundiya.

The owners of this house are yet to return after witnessing attacks by unknown gunmen and the abduction of their neighbours in May, 2020

The owners of this house are yet to return after witnessing attacks by unknown gunmen and the abduction of their neighbours in May, 2020

Daily Trust Saturday, however, gathered that the situation is no longer the case with most of these new home owners now returning to the metropolis in search of security respite.

Residents putting personal houses up for sell but no buyers

With an estimated 17 million housing deficit in Nigeria according to the World Bank Nigeria Affordable Housing Project 2018, Nigeria requires about 700,000 housing units annually, spanning through a 20-year period to accommodate its growing population.

However, middle and lower-income households who have been able to purchase and develop their lands now say they are either forced to sell or abandon the homes and watch as they deteriorate. Saidu Hamza of Danhono II said after the community was attacked and residents abducted, he moved his family to Ilorin in Kwara State and put up his three-bedroom home with an adjoining two-bedroom apartment for sale. “With the security situation in the area, the price I am being offered is not very encouraging and I could not leave my family there knowing the place is unsafe,” he said.

Yakubu Dahiru who also abandoned his home in Keke community said there are no buyers for his home and he has been unable to get a security guard to guard the house in their absence. “If the owner of the house can abandon it, who will agree to stay? I wanted someone to put an eye on the house so thieves do not vandalize it but it has been difficult,” he said.

Value of properties skyrocket in metropolis

There is an almost 100 percent rent increase in Kaduna metropolis due to increasing demand for homes in the metropolis, Daily Trust correspondents gathered.

Maiunguwa Inusa Ibrahim, an estate agent around Kurmin Mashi, Gwamna road and Badiko told Daily Trust that a three-bedroom flat that used to be leased at N500,000 or N600,000 around Gwamna Road now goes for between N1.2m and N1.5m.

“Someone called me for a house yesterday and we went around Unguwan Rimi, Kabala Costain but there was no house. We now found one close to Namadi Sambo’s house along Al-Manar Mosque – it’s a three bedroom and a self-contain Boys quarters and they are asking for N1.5m,” he said.

Occupants of this house who moved in a few months before the attack on Danhono II have deserted the house for security reasons

Occupants of this house who moved in a few months before the attack on Danhono II have deserted the house for security reasons

The Kaduna branch of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers says the recent trend of movement for accommodation in the metropolis has created a boom in house prices, saying those who moved out of to their own houses now see their environment as a threat and are therefore forced to return to rent houses in the metropolis.

Esv. Olubumi Ogundiya said it is natural that where supply is short compared to the demand of products, there will be an increase in price. “Apartments are now scarce because before it is made available, someone is ready to grab it. Anything that is scarce, there is demand for. The influx of people looking for houses in the metropolis now is higher than the availability, people have taken all the houses,” he said. He said this was not good for the economy of the state because the population keeps increasing and this shows that there are not enough facilities to cater for the population.

Why are gunmen targeting new layouts?

Security sources tell Daily Trust Saturday that new layouts are targeted by gunmen because the houses are staggered with many built without fence. “The houses are not clustered and some of these places have no security posts. Because the communities are at the edges of the forest, it is easy for criminals to operate and escape through the express way since there is no need for a lot of maneuvering like in the clustered city centre,” said a security source.

Occupants of this house came under attack when some unknown gunmen dug the ground to gain access into the house. Luckily, they were not successful

Occupants of this house came under attack when some unknown gunmen dug the ground to gain access into the house. Luckily, they were not successful

Capt. Abdullahi Umar (Rtd) agrees with this notion, saying that such communities must learn to form vigilante groups for neighbourhood watch and patrol to keep the area secured.  He said government must encourage vigilante groups at a time when the security structures are over stretched and urged the government to work with traditional and community leaders.

“The community has to come out and defend itself because you can’t sit down and wait for these gunmen to come at will to attack you. The problem with the security agencies is the lack of funding and the fact that they are over stretched. The communities must device a means of neighbourhood watch,” he said.

Umar further said even when such communities build police station, the security agents deployed to man the areas in most cases are unable to cope with the size of the community and so they have to work with vigilante groups to assist them.

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