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Property Owners, Tenants Count Losses as Soludo Demolition Machines Tear through Fegge Onitsha



By Our Reporter

Owners and tenants of illegally sited properties count their losses as Anambra State Government intensify the demolition of shanties and illegal structures around Fegge and other areas of Onitsha, the commercial capital of the state.

The government taskforce equipped with bulldozers, on Wednesday descended on properties illegally sited along Pineapple Market (Ogbo Pineapple) Woliwo and Silas Work, Waterways, Fegge Onitsha.

Although, the demolition exercise started on a controversial note last week with assault on Onitsha based cleric, Prophet Chukwemeka Ohamere, aka Odumeje by some overzealous task force officials, citizens have backed the initiative by Governor Charles Soludo.

Nwamaka Okafor, an Onitsha based estate agent told AnambraDaily that it would be better for the landlords of the affected houses to feel the pains of losing part of or their entire building than to allow the whole city collapse someday due to blocked channels. “This is a welcomed development as far as we are concerned. We have waited for so long for a government to take decisive action to clear Fegge and other areas of Onitsha of illegal structures that have put the entire city on danger. Even the landlords and tenants knew that these structures were causing harm to the environment but they kept quiet.

“I request that they should not spare anybody until the entire city is restored. And similar measures should be taken at Awka and other cities across the state. Estate developers must realize that building houses in the wrong place is a big danger to society. Kudos to the government”, she adds.

Other residents around the area, Alphonsus Ijeh, Chukwuka Ude and Chinedu Okonkwo also lamented that blockage of drainage channels during the rainy season caused flood water to pass through wrong channels there destroying people’s life and property.
“One of the reasons many people are having sleepless nights during rainy season is because of constant flooding caused by blockage of drainage channels in Onitsha. It’s a dream come through for us that Governor Soludo has decided to clear the channels. Governor Willie Obiano tried it but he didn’t succeed. Our prayer is that Soludo will complete what he has started” Okonkwo said.

Ijeh on his part, commended the state government and tasked them on being relentless in the fight to reclaim the Anambra space. “Soludo should harden his heart if he truly want to deliver Onitsha from this illegal structures curse. Many governors have tried and did not succeed because of lack of political will. History will be kind to him if he gets things right,” he stressed.

Maxwell Mgbeodi, however dismissed the hysteria that greeted the Odumeje assault saga and urged the citizens to back the initiative.

“I have listened to a lot of people talking about the issue of Odumeje and the demolishing of structures along the canal route in Fegge Onitsha. What everyone is condemning is the manhandling of Odumeje. I think I stand with that. Pushing and beating him is completely wrong. No matter whatever he did at the site. If it will take the work to pause a bit it had to. He can’t stop the work.

He urged the task force to be more professional in their work. “Those going to the site for demolition ought to have been given brief instruction on how to handle such situations incase it rises. Everyone on site can’t be talking and acting at the same time. There suppose to be a leader of the project when something like Odumeje coming to disrupt the work everyone will stay calm and only the leader will address him. If that yields no result then the police will be called to arrest him.

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