BY OBINNA OGBONNAYA, Abakaliki
Ebonyi State government yesterday demolished three bungalow buildings and other fences under construction along Njoku street for failure of the owners to secure relevant building approval thereby violating the state capital territory board plan.
The demolition exercise, which commenced at about 10am, was supervised by the state commissioner for capital territory development, Barr. Onyekachi Nwebonyi and other heads of the state capital territory board.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the demolition exercise, Barr. Nwebonyi said that apart from the buildings and fences demolished at Njoku street, there are several other buildings that would soon be demolished within the capital city.
Barr. Nwebonyi stated that the state government would no longer hesitate to demolish any building that does not have all the relevant building approvals adding that many builders now build along waterways and close to the roads.
According to him, “I removed some of the illegal structures that are actually blocking the public road. We have discovered that our people find it difficult to obey the law, and we are here to assist them to understand the importance of adhering strictly to the planning law of Abakaliki capital city”.
“The minimum wideness of the road is 12 meters but you can see some people are building their houses closing the road, thereby leaving about only 4meters. So as Ministry of Capital City Development, saddled with the responsibility of ensuring orderliness in the capital territory, we have to do this so that people will understand that government is actually alive to do her job.
“There are so many other streets that have illegal structures, it’s not just on this Njoku street. We will also visit them. The essence of this demolition is to warn the entire residents of Abakaliki capital city to always do the needful.
“If you didn’t get the approval of my ministry before embarking on any infrastructural development within the capital city, such structure is liable to be demolished. Because without that people will not naturally adhere to the law, so with this people will now sit up and know that Ministry of Capital City is alive to do her job”, he said.
In an interview with one of the owners of the demolished building, Miss Helen Idam who hails from Afikpo North local government area, told LEADERSHIP that after acquiring the land, officials of the Capital Territory Development Board came and measure the land, drew the plan and thereafter gave her the permission to commence building.
She accused one official from the Ministry of Lands and Survey of drawing the building plan, adding that she was instructed to pay certain amount of money to the bank.