…Activist Condemns Exercise
The demolition exercise in Owerri Capital city went bloody yesterday as the officials of the state Capital Development Authority were attacked by traders.
Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri
The ongoing demolition exercise by the Imo state government within Owerri Capital city was all but bloody yesterday when the officials of the Owerri Capital Development Authority(OCDA), were attacked by some Hausa Traders.
The OCDA officials went to demolish some of the illegal structures erected along AmaHausa Douglas Road, Owerri after months of notices for them to vacate the road.
Eyewitness report informed that when the officials went to the spot with Imo Security Network, Imo Security Guild, among other security outfits in the state to demolish some of the illegal shanties, they were resisted by some members of the Hausa community.
This resistance, it was learnt, led the officials to abandon the exercise, a development that infuriated the market neighbourhood who insisted that OCDA must demolish the marked illegal structures along the road, since according to them, they had been demolishing shanties and illegal structures belonging to people of the state at Orji, Control Post, Akwakuma, World Bank and other places.
All efforts made by the neighbourhood to assist the OCDA officials could not yield any positive result as they abandoned the exercise and ran for dear life.
The people wondered why the Authority should be selective in the demolition exercise. One of the traders who spoke to newsmen on arrival said that there is more to the running than the eyes could see, as according to him, if the Government did not effect the demolition at the Ama-Hausa community, it would amount to being partial.
In his words “Imolites have lost a lot in the cause of this demolition even though there was no proper and adequate notice and compensation from the government”. Newsmen could not as at press time meet with any of the OCDA officials to talk as they had left on arrival at the scene.
Meanwhile, human right activist has condemned The demolition of people’s shops and houses within the state capital by the state government without duly relocating them.
Speaking to newsmen in Owerri, the Programme Director of Development Dynamics, Dr. Jude Ohanele flayed the act, insisting that the government should stop impoverishing the already impoverished citizens of the state without any plans as to where they should be evacuated to.
He noted that based on the international habitat law, “you cannot evict or forcefully remove a man from his home without working with him to arrange where he is being taken to.