Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Anambra State Commissioner for Road, Rail and Water transport Hon. Charles Uche Okafor has said that no one has the moral justification to question the decision of government to demolish illegal structures across the state.
He said the state government owed no one apologies in its resolve to rid the state of structures he considered as dent on the corporate image of the state stressing that it was the remote reason government embarked on the on-going statewide demolition exercise.
Speaking with newsmen in Awka, Okafor noted that the demolition exercise was not only intended to remove shanties or to ensure free flow of human and vehicular movements but also to ensure security noting that miscreants often used the shanties as hideouts to unleash terror and mayhem on people.
The commissioner also explained that the demolition exercise was equally intended to ensure a clean and healthy environment because shanties built on drainages according to him were ecological problems pointing out that there was need to mitigate flooding especially with the flood alert issued by the meteorological agency which he said prompted the state government to demolish structures on waterways as well as desilt the gutters.
Okafor was the immediate past council chairman of Oyi local government area of Anambra state. He further stated that upon assumption of office, his first assignment was to decongest the roads in the state adding that during his official tour of the entire state, he discovered that the roads were blocked and that petty-trading has taken over the streets and major highways as well as incessant and unauthorised loading of vehicles along the roads.
He therefore stated that government had to embark on destruction of shanties and clearing the roads of obstructions to enable people to access their destinations. He pointed out that the decongestion of roads and demolition of illegal structures began in Onitsha about two weeks ago and currently in Awka stressing that the exercise would also extend to Ekwulobia and other cities in Anambra.
The commissioner however said that government served prior notice to the public and equally invited market leaders and other relevant stakeholders to a parley to notify them of the demolition exercise.
He said also that demand notices were sent out to announce the comnencement of removal of illegal structures across the state adding that government was committed to creating a better and conducive environment for the citizenry.