By Francis Igata
ENUGU — There are indications that the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, ECTDA,will demolish 2,100 residential and business outfits in Enugu metropolis over alleged contravention of the state’s waterway policy. This was even as over 200 shops have been demolished along the Legislative Quarters, Independence Layout, Otigba Junction and Abakpa.
Scene of demolition
South-East Voice’s visit to the scene of demolition showed that affected victims wept uncontrollably as a D6 earth moving machine crushed their structures during the exercise. Ifeoma Nwabueze, a victim whose tears rolled down freely, lamented that her source of livelihood had been extinguished. She said:”Where will I go to now? My husband has no job. The family depends on this shop for survival.
I do not see how these shops offend government’s policy. These shops have been here before the Governor Sullivan Chime’s administration. How can it be demolished in the dying days of his administration. Another victim, Basil Oke also wondered why there should be no human face in the demolition exercise, adding that there should some form of compensation for those affected.
Commissioner for ECTDA, Mr. Emmanuel Omeje while fielding questions from South-East Voice in his office explained that the shop owners contravened the government green verge policy. He said: ”The shops were built on government green verge. Shops should not be built within 10 metres away from the road. We issued the shop owners quit notice two years ago. They refused to quit.
“The shop owners do not have approval for those structures. They were built as government set backs. There will be no compensation for affected victims because we cannot legalise legality. “By next week,we will demolish all the shops at the Computer Village,along Fire service. All the shops,left and right will be demolished. They built shops directly on railway lines which cannot be so. You cannot build shops within 6 meters away from the rail tracks.
“I was in one of the shops eating and train passed. The shop was vibrating and i asked the restaurant operator if she noticed what was happening. We will demolish 2,100 residential and business outfits in Enugu metropolis that have contravened the waterway policy. All those that built on waterways,rail line,drainage channels will be demolished. But the demolition will be done in phases.”