Daily Trust (Abuja)

10 December 2012

Nigeria: Kaduna Communities Fight Over Cemetery

Kaduna — Pandemonium yesterday broke out in Kurmi Mashi area in Kaduna metropolis when hundreds of youths from the area engaged residents of Garau over the ownership of the Garau cemetery.

Daily Trust gathered that the trouble started around 9 am yesterday when youths from Kurmi Mashi went to the burial ground and dug four graves.

Witnesses told our correspondent that while the Kurmi Mashi youths were digging the graves, residents of the area where the cemetery is situated were kicking against it.

"They did not come with any corpse but they were just digging graves in the cemetery. So, the people of the area on their part were covering the graves. While this was going, soldiers who were mounting road block near the place were deployed. Otherwise, it could have become another crisis," he said.

Speaking to our correspondent, a resident of the area, Ademola Mikail, said the place was not a burial ground.

"They are just trying to start another crisis in the state because this land belongs to us and we have our Certificate of Ownership (C of O). Go to the secretariat, you will authenticate what I'm telling you," he said.

District Head of Kurmi Mashi/Badiko, Alhaji Mohammed Abduljalal, said the problem started when some youths went to dig graves in the cemetery, saying the place is truly a cemetery."

"The place is a burial ground and it has been there for almost 30 years but since residential houses are now surrounding it, it must be relocated. Our people have been directed to be using the former burial ground," he said.

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