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Anambra Govt, Traders Trade Words Over Demolition Of Market Structures



On Saturday, the Anambra State Government tore down buildings and shanties in some parts of the state.
According to Akahi News, the Anambra State Physical Planning Board (ANSPPB) enforcement team carried out the demolition exercise.
The enforcement team was said to have destroyed shanties in the Woliwo, Port Harcourt Road, Onitsha, and Nkwelle Ezunaka areas of the state.
The exercise was said to have followed the claim that a dishonest developer had taken over the areas and turned them into a market under high-tension cables.
In an interview with The Nation Newspaper, some of the exercise’s victims claimed that they had paid the developer for the space more than 15 years ago.
Pastor Ukoha, one of the traders, said that the government didn’t care about the poor people who were trading in the affected areas.
He stated, “I recently completed the construction of small structures to support my business. After paying the landlord and local government officials, I received approval.
I am extremely dissatisfied with the current government because this is the third time the government has acted in this manner toward us, and it is not good.
We were not served notice, according to another unnamed trader.When I got the call to come and remove my property before the structure was torn down, I was already on my way.
I spent more than N200,000 just a few weeks ago to put up this structure.We would have saved a lot of money.We paid the landlord, whose name I do not know, though.We’ve been here for more than forty years.
However, Barr, Chairman of the ANSPPB,In response to the demolition, Chike Mmaduekwe stated that illegal developers should refrain from developing such locations without approval from the government.
He said that these developers’ illegal activities were against Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s goal of making the state a livable and prosperous place to live.
He stated, “As long as they are committing an illegality, it is irrelevant whether they have been there for 100 years.”The government is the owner of that land.Before it was de-zoned by the government, it was an open space.
“In fact, I blame the legitimate owners.If you don’t build anything there, someone else will start selling the land to people who are probably just legitimate buyers of the right without telling you.
The truth is that they were given clear and severe warnings.This ought to be the third occasion.Some people who claim to be influential will oppose the move each time you come to mark it.
“In point of fact, one of them who blocked a waterway within the area has been using all kinds of weapons and threats to put innocent market women there.”
“They won’t tell you there was no notice in any place we carried out enforcement.The walls have been marked, some as early as last year if you look closely.
If they wish to be there, let them negotiate with the landowners.The government cannot afford to allow unnecessary intimidation of landowners.
We have been making arrests of the culprits, and many of them will be appearing in court next week.Mmaduekwe added, “We recover the cost of the enforcement when they are convicted and sentenced.”


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