Governor Chibuike Amaechi has disclosed plans to remodel the waterfront to a state of-the –art living quarters in the state.
He gave the hint at a town hall meeting and official visit to Okrika Local Government Area on Thursday in Okrika town.
The Rivers State Governor said after demolishing the squatter settlements dotted along the different waterfronts in Port Harcourt and environs, he would redesign the area and offer it for sale to any Rivers State indigene.
Part of the plan, he hinted, is to provide pave roads, water infrastructure and power in line with modern living standards.
The Governor said the people of the area should desist from viewing the plan as an ethnic play to pull them out of their abode but as a developmental project.
He explained that so far the waterfronts have become a major security threat to the state as most crimes committed in the state are usually recorded in the area.
His words: “I have a responsibility and that responsibility is to protect the lives and property of the state.”
As a result, he stated that the redevelopment of the area was crucial in reducing crime and homicide experienced at the slums.
With a recent judgment by a High Court backing state government’s urban renewal bid at the waterfronts, Governor Amaechi asserted that his administration would ensure those areas were transformed.
Alternatively, Governor Amaechi said since the Okrika people are agitating that the area be left alone, he urged the people to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to ensure adequate security in the area.
But he observed that since such was not obtainable the people should support the renewal effort of government, adding “to ensure security at the waterfront you have to meet the criminal at their base and fight them.”