By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURTâ€”A non-governmental organisation, Social Action Nigeria, has appealed to Rivers State government to reconsider its plan to demolish waterfronts in order to avoid displacement of thousands of residents in the areas.
The group, in a statement issued weekend in Port Harcourt by its Programme Officer, Mr. Celestine Akpobari, advised the government to halt its plan to demolish the shanties until adequate alternative accommodation arrangements were made for those to be affected by the demolition.
â€œSocial Action Nigeria, working in concert with civil society groups and communities, condemns the recent threat by the governor of Rivers State to continue the demolition exercise in Port Harcourt andÂ calls on Rivers State government to stop further displacement of the poor waterfront residents until proper dataÂ are taken and alternative accommodations provided for them.
â€œThe group is calling for a suspension of further demolitions and forced evictions until participatory and transparent measures are taken to provide alternative housing for over two hundred thousand residents of 41 waterfront communities in Port Harcourt, which have been home to millions of junior civil servants, fishermen, artisans and other workers in the expensive oil city,â€ the group said.
The group raised an alarm about the activities of some dealers in petroleum products at Abonnema Wharf, noting that it was a serious threat to lives and property in the area which also serves as residential quarters to many.