The recent demolition of a roundabout near the Kano government house has stirred up controversy, with differing explanations provided by officials.
Baffa Bichi, the secretary to the Kano government, has cited the presence of a Christian cross sign on the structure as one of the reasons behind its removal.
Speaking during an interview with Freedom Radio, Bichi emphasized that the majority of Kano indigenes are Muslims and having a structure prominently displaying the cross contradicts Islamic values.
“Over 99.9 percent of Kano indigenes are Muslims. So you can’t have a structure with a large inscription of the cross on it. It’s against Islamic values,” he stated.
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However, Governor Abba Yusuf had a different explanation for the demolition. He expressed concerns about the roundabout’s structural integrity, deeming it “substandard” and warning that it could potentially collapse between 2023 and 2024.
Governor Yusuf pointed out that the roundabout had been constructed using unsuitable materials, including used foam work and excessive sand instead of proper cement concrete.
Furthermore, the governor highlighted how the height of the structure posed challenges for both motorists and security surveillance near the government house.
He explained, “The structure is too tall to be placed in front of the government house as it defaces its main gate, which blocks the view for security surveillance. Additionally, it poses traffic challenges around the area because of its size, blocking the view of drivers accessing all routes linked through the roundabout.”
In response to the controversy, Secretary Bichi highlighted the presence of cross signs on other structures in Kano, indicating that the government is actively working to remove such symbols.
He disclosed, “The big roundabout disrupts motorists from having a proper view of the road, and if you use a drone to capture the view of the roundabout, you will discover there is a large cross sign at the top of the roundabout.”
Bichi further revealed that another structure, the Muhammadu Buhari underpass, also features a similar large cross sign.
Bichi affirmed the government’s commitment to addressing this issue, stating, “I can assure you that we are working on plans to have the symbols removed.”