Anambra: No Going Back on Demolition Exercise –  Soludo


By Izunna Okafor, Onitsha

Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has restated his administration’s determination to go ahead with the planned and ongoing demolition of private residences, worship centres, factories and business complexes wrongly sited in various parts of the state.

Governor Soludo made this known on Saturday through the State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Dr. Obinna Ngonadi, who led a joint taskforce and professionals to monitor the various sections of Ochanja market Onitsha, where over 1,000 buildings have been marked for demolition as a result of illegal construction with no extant approval from the government.

According to him, the exercise is in line with the resolve of the current administration in the state to champion Urban Renewal Plan to make Anambra State a liveable and prosperous homeland for all Nigerians, irrespective of ethnic, tribe and religious placement.

While noting that the need to demolish the structures cannot be overemphasized; he further revealed that the exercise would also help to prevent cases of building collapse and the activities of land grabbers in the state.

He noted that, aside blocking drainage system, most of the marked buildings had structural defects, including cracked walls and decking, falling pillars and sands, roads obstructions, among other challenges.

He further added that the government has intention to decongest markets, as well as make them inhabitable to international standard; even as he warned owners of illegal structures to quickly remove them or get ready to pay the government to that effect.

Contributing, the Chairman, Anambra State Physical Planning Board, Barr. Chike Maduekwe, assured that Anambra State Materials Testing Laboratory would visit all the markets to test the structural integrity of their buildings so as to find out those to be spared with some amendment and those to be outrightly demolished.

In an interview with newsmen, the Caretaker Committee Chairman, Ochanja market, Mr Bonaventure Muo, hailed Governor Soludo for the move, assuring that they would continue to support government programmes to sanitise the markets.

He urged the state government to apply human face in handling the issues.

The team later visited Building Materials Markets at Ogidi and Ogbunike, near Onitsha to access their level of compliance to the traders/markets enumeration exercise, and hailed traders for complying with the government orders.

Addressing the traders, governor Soludo said the data capturing exercise would have to gather comprehensive data of all traders and their enterprises with a view to take proper care of their welfare, security and other purposes.

Speaking in a separate interviews, the Chairman of Building Materials market (Ogidi), Mr Jude Okonkwo and Mr Adinu Onyechi of Building Materials 2 and 3 (Ogidi and Ogbunike), commended the Governor for the move, and promised to mobilise all their members to participate actively as it was for their best interest, adding that the enumeration exercise will help curb criminal activities in the state, among other benefits.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here