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Sorrow, tears as govt pulls down structures

Posted by From Henry Chukwurah, Port Harcourt on 2008/07/30 | Views: 1989 |

Sorrow, tears as govt pulls down structures

House Number 117, Niger Street in Port Harcourt is a three-storey building erected a few years ago by a businesswoman.

House Number 117, Niger Street in Port Harcourt is a three-storey building erected a few years ago by a businesswoman.
On Wednesday, July 16, this year, the magnificent building came tumbling down, not because it was built with fake materials. A bulldozer acting on the orders of the Rivers State government, had dug under the impressive structure and collapsed it.
The building is one of the several thousands of structures already brought down by the state task force on demolition of illegal structures.

From all indications, many more of such structures would go down as the days go by because the beat is not about to stop.
At its inception, the Chibuike Amaechi-led government had left no one in doubt its resolve to restore the Garden City’s status of Port Harcourt.

Not a few residents had doubted the ability of the government to act out that resolve until a few months ago when bulldozers suddenly emerged on the major roads, knocking down and smashing houses and structures already marked as standing too close to the road”.
From all indications, the bulldozers are no respecter of persons and organizations. Buildings and shops belonging to the big and mighty in the state as well as law enforcement and other security agencies such as the Police Officers Wives Association,have been brought down.

On Choba, Aggrey and Harbour Roads, buildings have either been brought down completely or caught in two rampaging bulldozers of the demolition squad. The fences of offices, banks, schools and big hotels have not been spared either.

For Governor Amaechi, no illegal structure should stand in the way of the official resolve to widen the roads and beautify the streets.

Advising the owners of the structures to relocate within 24 hours, the governor warned that any structure found on that road after two months would be taken away by the State Environmental Sanitation Authority.

On the ever-busy Ikwerrre Road,people watched unbelievably as some “illegal structures” within and near the NIPOST premises were pulled down.
Expectedly, the onslaught has brought pains to many trading families. It is commonplace to see traders weep openly as they helplessly watch their shops go down.

“Where do they want us to go? Don’t they have conscience? What happens to our families in these hard times? asked Mr. Emeka whose shop was among the casualties on Station Road.
For him and many others, the decision to pull down shops in particular without providing an alternative place for trading is anything but unfair. Some of the traders who are from neighbouring states have openly accused the government of a hidden agenda against “non-indigenes”. Some others alleged that opponents of the government are the targets.

But checks by Daily Sun revealed that the bulldozers had no mechanism for identifying who comes from where or who loves or hates the government.
As a matter of fact, magnificent buildings belonging to indigenes such as House Number 117, Niger Street, have not been spared.

Some of the victims of the demolition exercise have also hinted of intention to head for the court.
For example, the owner of House Number 117, Niger Street, Mrs Sophie George has threatened to drag the state government to court for disregarding a court’s interim order stopping the demolition.
But the commissioner in charge of the supervising ministry of the exercise has said she did not receive any court order.

For now, the beat goes on and any structure on the right of way or standing in the government’s way to re-designing and beautifying “Pitakwa” must be crushed. It does no matter whether it belongs to the Jews or Gentiles.

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Comments (9)

Kim Worley(Greeley, Colorado, US)says...

I heard this in a song and had no idea what it meant. Googled it and this came up. Very Cool. ????????????????

Obinna(Newark Nj)says...

I want to know more meaning and significant of this name obidike in igboland

Olusola Okhiria Nee Sodunke(Newport, Newport, UK)says...

This is a great piece of history, which is dear to our hearts as people and very much appreciated.

Many thanks to the people who worked hard in the past and those who are still making efforts to keep the institution.

The labour is obviouly worth it. We are proud of you all.

A lot still to be done, with the motivation of the champions of this course, others will follow as well to maintain the institution

May God continue to keep the edifice for development of future generations to the glory of God and the benefits of our fatherland.

Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...