All structures along Aeroplane Drive, Off Abuloma Road in
Port Harcourt Local Government Area of Rivers State already marked for
demolition would soon be brought down.
This follows the August 6, 2012 deadline given to owners of
such houses built along public right of way or erected under high-tension electricity
cables, to vacate the area.
Commissioner for Urban Development and Renewal, Dr Tammy
Danagogo who made the clarification dismissed speculations by a section of the
local media that his ministry was being used to disposess a widow of her home,
in favour of a serving lawmaker.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Commissioner explained, no
fewer than 20 illegal houses had since been marked, and occupants ordered to
vacate the area more than a month ago.
In an interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt, yesterday,
Dr Danagogo said, “We will demolish them. The delay is due to backlog of areas
earmarked. We will get there.”
He explained that, his ministry would not mark a widow’s
building if it did not contravene existing regulations and renewed his call to
affected property owners to vacate the area.
According to him, ‘the important thing is that owners of
buildings on public right of way and road which cause setbacks must remove
“Whereas I don’t know her (the said widow’s) particular
building and as such the exact whistle blower, I am aware that even the Abuloma
community wrote to me, complaining about illegal developments and the need to
curb / demolish them”.
The Tide learnt that a section of the local media last week
singled out one Mrs Gloria Israel among other property owners as a victim of
official intimidation, imputing that her property was marked for demolition for
refusing to sell it to the member of the Rivers State House of Assembly
representing Ogu/Bolo constituency, Hon. Evans Bipi.
But The Tide investigation revealed that contrary to that
misinformation, the property in question, at Tomski Opuiyoo Avenue by Aeroplane
Drive, Off Abuloma Road had been earmarked for demolition, three years ago,
when Hon. Bipi had not even contested elections into the House.
Another land owner, Mr Oba Loveday confirmed to The Tide
that their properties, along with the widow’s, were earmarked about three years
earlier and wondered why anyone could blame their woes on either government or
“I don’t believe in sentiments, we were all asked to go
since three years ago, why are they making unnecessary propaganda,” Loveday