By Mohammed Ibrahim
KADUNA (Nigeria) – Some victims of Nigeria’s post 2011 election violence – who are tenants – have frowned at the government’s compensation process, faulting the decision to exempt them from payments made to victims of the crisis in Kaduna state, northwest Nigeria.
According to them, the decision to compensate only house owners and landlords whose houses were burnt during the election without extending same to the tenants was unfair and unjust.
In a statement, spokesperson of the victims, Mallam Shehu Hassan said it was wrong and inhuman for government to single out landlords and house owners for compensation leaving tenants to their fate.
According to them, apart from losing their property, some of them escaped death by the whiskers.
” After the crisis Kaduna state government set up a commission of Inquiry which received victims complaints and I submitted my complain to the commission for possible assistance.
” The commission on submitting its report to the government recommended that I should be assisted. Even the white paper committee also recommended me for assistance but the committee in charge with the disbursement of funds refused to assist me on the ground that I’m not a landlord nor a house owner,” he said.
A victim of the crisis, who is also a Widow, Mrs Asabe Daniel said she and her children lost everything as the house where they lived was burnt to ashes.
She blamed the politicians for her predicament, lamenting that it is the same politicians that caused the misery.
” They are discriminating against tenants or is it a crime that we voted them into office, is this the dividend of democracy they have for us,” she asked.
Another victim, Mr Charlie Madu expressed shock when government decided to pay only landlord and house owners.
” Does this implies that we tenants are not Nigerians or are regarded second class citizens that government does not care to assist us,” he queried.
He stressed that the physiological trauma all victims went through during the violence and the property lost is enough for government to consider them for compensation.
The victims therefore, appealed to both state and federal government to assist them so as to reduce their sufferings.
They added that failure to assist them will discourage them from participating in future elections.