Vanguard (Lagos)

19 February 2013

Nigeria: Delta Demolishes Illegal Structures in Asaba

Asaba — HUNDREDS of commercial shops, brothels including some residential buildings located at the Asaba end of the Niger Bridge head were among the illegal structures pulled down by bulldozers, yesterday, as the Delta State Government declared total war on illegal structures.

Yesterday's operation which was led by the state Commissioner for Environment, Chief Frank Omare, was very massive as no structure personally declared illegal by the state Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Development, Mr. Patrick Ferife, was left untouched.

As a result of the exercise, gridlock was experienced on the Benin/Asaba highway for few hours while armed soldiers were on hand to provide security to the demolition team. The bulldozers were also at Koka junction by Ibusa road where the shanties around there were destroyed, including a new generation church.

Speaking with newsmen, Ferife, who was among the demolition team said: "The reason why I came here today was because people are always saying that some of these buildings have approvals. I have been here since morning and no person has come out with any approval. So as we speak today (yesterday), approvals are not just given for approval sake."

Many of the displaced persons had already started counting their losses. One of them, who was running a make shift beer parlour by the bridge head, who simply gave his name as Chukwuka from Enugu State, said: "Actually we were given notice to leave but I did not know government meant it."

Some of those who did not heed the eviction notice and left their property inside were seen salvaging some of the destroyed property from the ruins as at the time of this report.

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