By Izunna Okafor, Awka
Many residents and traders around the Ekwulobia Roundabout, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, have begun to count losses, as the State Government set activities on motion for construction of the propose Ekwulobia Flyover.
Recall that Governor Chukwuma had, in March this year, flagged-off the construction of the new Flyover, which will last for a period of eighteen months. The construction work, which was awarded in October 2022, will be handled by A.V. Vision Construction Nigeria Limited.
Governor Soludo, during the flag-off, also hinted that a modern bus terminal that can accommodate up to 100 buses would be built in the location, while other adjoining roads to the flyover, such as the 2-kiloneter length Nanka-Ekwulobia-Aguata L.G.A. Road, and the 1.25-kilometer Ekwulobia-Isuofia would also be constructed. He said the project would also have other ancillary structures and facilities including a fuel station, security office, fire station and other external works, such as sewage treatment facilities, drainage, landscaping, among others other facilities that will enhance the infrastructural facelift of the area.
In pursuance of these, therefore, the State Government had, last week, issued a press release, stating that demolition would commence at the site anytime soon, while also warning residents and traders who have shops, residential buildings or other structures within the areas marked for the construction to dismantle them and evacuate their wares.
Government, in the press release signed by the State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Paul Nwosu, said demolition of the affected facilities would commence soon and would affect many facilities to the extent of their encroachment on the road corridor.
Titled ‘Construction of Ekwulobia Flyover To Commence Soon’, the statement read: “Government is informing those whose properties and shops are on right of way of the flyover that their facilities will be affected to the extent of their encroachment on the road corridor.
“Owners of such properties and shops are hereby advised to begin dismantling their structures and evacuate their valuables immediately as agreed in the last stakeholders’ meeting.”
Nevertheless, while the State Government is still issuing notice of warning; many residents of the area are already recounting their losses, occasioned by the demolition as a result of the demolition going on in the area.
Although, some of the affected residents and shop the owners had already dismantled, relocated, or evacuated some of their facilities and wares ahead of time to avoid incurring much loss.
Many of the affected persons who spoke to this reporter, Izunna Okafor, lamented that the demolition was coming at the wrong time, given the current economic realities in the country. They also regretted that the government was demolishing the structures without giving any compensation to the owners or making arrangements of new locations for them, thereby slipping them into untold hardship.
A good number of them also complained that the lands upon which they erected their demolished or marked structures were duly owned by them, while the buildings erected thereupon were duly approved for them by the State Government and its relevant agencies.