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Anambra Govt Demolishes 2,000 Shops Following Building Collapse

By Ojugbele Omotunde

In response to the tragic building collapse that occurred on Basden Street, Fegge, Onitsha, the Anambra State Government has undertaken decisive measures by demolishing 2,000 shops situated on Niger Street in the Fegge area of Onitsha South Local Government Area.

The demolition, which took place on Monday, was prompted by concerns over the proximity of these structures to the River Niger, disregarding the stipulated right of easement granted up to 100 meters from the river’s banks.

Reports indicate that while some of the demolished shops were owned by small business operators, the majority served as operational offices and storage facilities for members of the Anambra State Sand Miners Association.

Governor Prof. Chukwuma Soludo directed the Chairman of Onitsha South Local Government, Chief Emeka Orji, to execute the demolition upon learning that these structures had been erected illegally.

Despite purported approval from the National Inland Waterways Authority, Governor Soludo asserted the authority of the state over the land, emphasising that it does not fall under the jurisdiction of NIWA.

Supervising the demolition, Council Chairman Orji reiterated that his actions were in compliance with the governor’s directives, prompted by the alarming frequency of building collapses in the area.

While affected individuals claimed lack of prior notification regarding the demolition, Orji countered, stating that notices were indeed issued, followed by subsequent reminders. Despite these efforts, residents purportedly failed to adhere to the directives.

Furthermore, in response to the grievances raised, Orji clarified that even when the governor ordered the demolition, an additional one-week notice period was provided.

The demolition stands as a testament to the state government’s commitment to safeguarding public safety and enforcing regulations aimed at averting similar tragedies in the future.

 

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