29 June 2012

Nigeria: Abonema Waterfront Demolished in Rivers, Thousands Rendered Homeless

Port Harcourt — Thousands of people living in Abonnema waterfront in Port Harcourt have been rendered homeless as Rivers State government yesterday began the demolition of the waterfront.

The waterfront, according to the state government, has many shanties and houses of thousands of low income earners, saying the place became a safe haven for criminals.

Chairman of Abonnema House Owners Association Tom Jim George said the state government was violating international law by sending people packing under the rains when there was a pending court case challenging the demolition.

"Some of us are still in the court and there is an injunction restraining the government but they still when ahead to start demolition", he said.

State commissioner for urban development and physical planning Tammy Danagogo told newsmen that prompt demolition of the shanties was as a result of the high criminal activities in the area.

"We have planned to demolish that place because that place has become deports of fire arms and ammunitions; so we believe we must demolish to get those arms", he said. The state government, according to him, was already taking record of names of owners of structures in the waterfront and would soon start paying them compensation.

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