Ebonyi State Government, Monday, commenced the demolition of all illegal structures in the state capital, Abakaliki.
The Commissioner, Ministry of Capital City Development, Barr. Onyekachi Nwebonyi, began the demolition from Njoku Street, opposite Agwuncha junction, off Nakaliki road.
A duplex, on the street which had already been decked, belonging to one Helen Idam, was completely raised down, while newly built fences which exceeded the approved meters from the road were also not spared.
Speaking shortly after the demolition, Nwebonyi said the essence of the demolition was to make sure Abakaliki residents follow the laid down laws while building in the capital city, adding that some people just give only 4meters to the road while the building law stated 12meters.
He said before his office carried out the demolition, that the defaulters were duly served, stating that some where even marked for demolition since 2016.
The commissioner said his office will not tolerate illegality, insisting that any building blocking public road must be removed and that defaulters would not be compensated.
He said: “I removed some of the illegal structures that are actually blocking the public road. We have discovered that our people find it difficult to obey the law, and we are here to assist them to understand the importance of adhering strictly to the planning law of Abakaliki capital city”.
“The minimum wideness of the road is 12 meters but you can see some people are building their houses closing the road, thereby leaving about only 4meters. So as Ministry of Capital City Development, saddled with the responsibility of ensuring orderliness in the capital territory, we have to do this so that people will understand that government is actually alive to do her job”.
“There are so many other Streets that we have illegal structures, it’s not just on this Njoku Street. We will also visit them. The essence of this demolition is to warn the entire residents of Abakaliki capital city to always do the needful”.
“If you didn’t get the approval of my ministry before embarking on any infrastructural development within the capital city, such structure is liable to be demolished. Because without that people will not naturally adhere to the law, so with this people will now seat up and know that ministry of Capital City is alive to do her job.”
“Any illegal structure that didn’t receive the approval of the then Abakaliki Capital Territory Board, as they were then called must go down except if the person comes up to remedy the situation, by paying the necessary fees and we conduct the necessary test, if the structure survives then it will stand, if not such structure must go down because we must do the right thing” he stated.
Meanwhile, the owner of the demolished ongoing duplex, said she made the necessary payments required from her by the then Abakaliki Capital Territory Board, before she commenced the building.
She said even before she commenced the fencing she made the required payments demanded from her by the Capital Territory Board.
“Did she show you approval from the Capital Territory? Nwebonyi queried
She pleaded with the government to compensate her adding,” government needs to help me because I have no where to go to. My Landlord has given me quit notice to leave his house at the end of this month and somebody has taken the apartment already. I was set to move into this new house that was just demolished.