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Posted by By Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa on 2007/12/11 | Views: 836 |


Residents of Azikoro road in Bayelsa State, like every other person in the world, are pre-occupied with preparations for the festive periods of Sallah/ Christmas/ New Year.

•In place of good tidings, Bayelsa govt sends bulldozers after residents’ property

Residents of Azikoro road in Bayelsa State, like every other person in the world, are pre-occupied with preparations for the festive periods of Sallah/ Christmas/ New Year.

But in place of goodies, the Bayelsa State government has given them a different kind of gift as the bulldozers of the Capital City Development Authority (CCDA) roared into the area and pulled down buildings standing on the land marked for the expansion of the Azikoro road.

Indeed, the bulldozers have abbreviated the joys of residents of the area as they wept seeing their property crumble under the heavy machines. Those whose buildings have already been marked were sighted trying to salvage some blocks and other valuables before the bulldozers got to them.

Aside shops of small traders affected, other things brought down included the fence of the United Bank of Africa (UBA), a three-bedroom flat belonging to a former commissioner, Chief Blessing Izagara, the fence of the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), part of Pepperoni Fast food and numerous business centres.

The affected people said they were given a two-week notice before the agency started the demolition. Many of those affected were busy trying to sort out their belongings when Daily Sun visited.
One of the affected traders, Okey, whose shop was demolished, said the notice given was not enough, as the people could not make alternative arrangement in two weeks, given the difficulty they face before securing accommodation in Yenagoa.

Mr. Enoch Tabowei, whose shop was partly pulled down, expressed sadness that the Sylva administration could start early in the life of his government to embark on demolition when there are other priorities government can focus upon.

"Nobody is saying they should not demolish. Nobody is saying they should not expand roads, but what special business is happening in Azikoro that warrants government to expand the road. In Bayelsa we have areas that are begging to be opened up; government is notlooking at that direction but is interested in demolishing what people acquired with their sweat. You just look across and see where government can open up, construct a bridge for people to acquire land and build houses so that houses would not be clumsy but they won’t do that but demolish."

At Pepperoni, staffers were seen assessing the situation. Some of them, who pleaded anonymity, told Daily Sun that the development would not affect their business.
When Daily Sun got to Chief Izagara’s houses, some men seen removing valuables from the debris after the demolition, said he had travelled out of town.

One of the officials of CCDA, who called himself ThankGod, said nobody could accuse the CCDA of bias. He said in the new mission of the CCDA any building that stands in the way would be pulled down
ThankGod noted that the CCDA, as currently constituted, was poised to implement the Yenagoa master plan to the letter.

The Coordinator of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), Mr. Alagoa Morris, told Daily Sun that even though CLO does not take delight in criticizing government, it, however, caution government on the demolition, noting that the rights of Bayelsans must be taken into consideration.
Alagoa explained that government should not be in a hurry to demolish but rather focus on projects that would make Bayelsans happy.

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Comments (2)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown