The Zamfara Government,?on Wednesday,?said?it had?approved the release of N420 million as? compensation for villagers in the area?where the new Federal University would be established in the state.

The? Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Ibrahim Birnin-Magaji,?announced this in an interview with?newsmen in Gusau.

The commissioner?stated that the state government had “since approved the release of the funds” but that payment was being delayed because the mode of payment was being designed.

The commissioner said the affected villagers were being categorised into different classes.

He said the houses with ?government approved documents would be treated differently while farmlands with economic trees would attract more money.

Five communities, including Kuraje, Sabon Gida?ta Gabas, Kwanar Nadama, Sabon Gida ta?Yamma and Gidan?Magaji had threatened to stop construction work on the site if they were not compensated.

The new university site, situated on the outskirts of Gusau,?would take over all the houses, schools and farmlands of the affected villages.

The delay in the payment of compensation has made the villagers draw a battle line against labourers working on the site,?according to the?Supervisor,?Nasiru Mohammed.

“The villagers have said that all workers on the site should not pass through their villages while coming to or leaving from work, which is why we now have to go round the villages, especially Sabon Gari,?to get to the site,” the supervisor said.

One of the residents, Malam Kabir Adamu, explained that lack of communication with the villagers had been responsible for the misunderstanding.

“Since the staff of the Ministry of Lands came here and took census of our houses and farmlands, saying we will be relocated to another location across the road and that we will be adequately compensated, no one ever showed up again.”

Adamu?said for the past eight months, the communities had been waiting for the compensation and “now we do not even know where we are going to farm in the next rainy season.”

The Village Head, Malam Muhammadu Rabiu, said?more than?300 houses and?1,500 farmlands would be affected by the construction.

He?pleaded with the state government to resettle them and pay compensation before the next rainy season.

Rabiu said this was because?”almost everyone here relies on farming and we have to secure new farmlands at the new place and prepare them for farming”.

The commissioner, however, called for calm, saying arrangements were on?for the payment and a smooth transition to the new place for resettlement.

Meanwhile, the construction of the female hostels on the site had begun.

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