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Govt’s quit notice unsettles Rivers community

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By Davies Iheamnachor

PORT HAR-COURT— Residents of Ahiamakara, in Ogbunabali Community, Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, Rivers State, have been thrown into pandemonium following a quit notice served on them by the state government.

It will be recalled that the state government, through its Ministry of Lands and Survey, has been on massive land reclamation and in the course had demolished several houses, including Unity Estate in Eneka and the waterfronts in the city.

In an eviction letter served on the residents of Ahiamakara, by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands and Survey, D. W Jack, which was sighted by our reporter, the government notified occupants and lessees of property in the area to vacate the area within seven days.

The notice stated that the ultimatum would elapse on July 7 and warned that anyone who acts contrary to the order or mutilates the notice is liable to be arrested and prosecuted.

It further noted that evacuation in the area would give way to reclamation and construction work by the state government to commence.

But the notice, when received, caused anxiety in the community as the residents who were agitated called on the state government to act on their initial agreement by paying them compensation before evicting them.

Speaking, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, a resident of the area, Mr. Kakor Macson, described the move by the government to demolish the area without following the actual process as an act of injustice.

Macson, who is a landlord in the area, advised the state government to compensate the affected residents before evicting them, noting that they do not have anywhere else to go to if the government carries out its threat of evicting  them without compensation.

Also, the state Coordinator of International Human Rights Protection Initiative, Mr. John Ihua, said that the move by the state government was unfortunate, adding that it was against international human right law to evict any person or group of persons from their home without due compensation.

Ihua threatened to take up legal action against the state government if they fail to compensate the residents of the area before sacking them.

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