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Govts demolish illegal structures in Delta, Abuja

Delta State Government on Monday commenced the demolition of illegal structures blocking waterways in different major cities in the state starting with Warri and Effurun in Warri South and Uvwie local government areas of the state.

As early as 9am, the demolition squad comprising officials from the Office of the Director-General, Special Duties, Delta State Government House; Ministry of Urban and Regional Planning as well as the Ministry of Justice, among others, were on the ground with a heavy-duty bulldozer at the Ugboroke community where the major canal that passes through the locality had been blocked by some illegal structures.

The exercise started around noon after occupants of some of the affected structures had packed out some of their belongings.

The demolition squad later operated at Ekpan community where some illegal structures blocking the waterways were also pulled down.

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Also, the squad operated at the Warri-Sapele Road, by Aka Avenue at Effurun GRA where some illegal structures impeding the free flow of waterways linking the Ekpan River on the NNPC Housing Estate Road, were also demolished.

The Director-General, Special Duties, Governor’s Office, Chief Frank Omare, who led the demolition squad later spoke with journalists, noting that the mandate given to the team by the state governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, was “to destroy all illegal structures all over the state and this is just the beginning.”

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In Abuja, officials of the Federal Capital Territory Administration on Monday demolished illegal structures on a piece of land belonging to the Transmission Company of Nigeria and for other infrastructure development in the Lugbe area.

Addressing journalists after the exercise, the Director of the Department of Development Control, FCTA, Mukhtar Galadima, explained that the area, popularly known as Timber Shield Market, Lugbe, was not approved.

The News Agency of Nigeria quoted Galadima as saying that the area located behind the high-tension line was illegally occupied by timber dealers, scavengers and other sellers of low-value items.

He said the TCN had already awarded a contract to energise the power line, adding that the illegal structures must be removed before the commencement of work.

He further explained that the area was a corridor of the Ring Road III which connects Gwarimpa and the Public Service Institute, along Onex as well as link Siraji to the Apo Mechanic area.

According to him, the operation is an ongoing exercise to clean up Abuja City by removing all illegal structures wherever they exist.

He noted that before the demolition, several notices were served on the illegal occupiers followed by meetings with the traders and some key stakeholders.

He said, “Before the operation, we had invited all the traders and stakeholders for a meeting, and we briefed them on our intention.

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“They were given enough time to relocate so that the work will commence, about two months ago.

“We are going to sustain it; nobody will be allowed to return to the area.”

Also speaking, the Secretary of the Command and Control Centre, FCTA, Peter Olumuji, said the cleanup would help in securing lives and property in Lugbe and its environs.

Olumuji said the administration was committed to fighting activities that would pave the way for crime, adding that no illegal community would be allowed to exist on unapproved land.

“Aside from what the Transmission Company of Nigeria is going to do, it will also help to reduce the crime rate within the axis because the place harbours a lot of criminal-minded individuals.

“The demolition is also a renewed war against drug dealers and other criminal activities gaining ground in the area,” he said.

Punch

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