By Ozioruva Aliu, Benin-City
Godwin Obaseki has explained that the Edo state government has embarked on the demolition of illegal structures at Iyekogba Estate for security reasons. Stating that many of the buildings do not have approved plans.
He said on a visit to monitor the exercise, “You would have noticed that over the last few weeks our teams have been going around town to remove illegal structures and structures that don’t have building permits particularly in areas where we have a lot of public activities.
“We noticed that a lot of people are building shopping malls across trhe city without building plans or approvals, the concern is that government does not even know the quality of these structures so you can imagine a shopping mall on two or three levels with almost 40 to 50 shops that has no approval if; God forbids, that building collapses, you can imagine the devastation it will create and government cannot sit idle and allow complete lawlessness and disarray in the way people construct buildings across the city.
“So it is an on-going exercise and in the case of this (Iyekogba), notices were signed and served, it was an illegal market and close to a police station which also poses a security risk because criminals can come in here and mingle and you know the risk police facilities have faced recently so this has to be cleared”.
Meanwhile, earlier on there was drama at Iyekogba, when a cameraman identified as Emmanuel Ohagbo attached to the Press Unit, Edo State Government House was allegedly attacked by people believed to be policemen while he was recording the destruction of shops attached to the wall of the police station which the government said were illegal.
On the attack, Governor Obaseki said “it is unfortunate that there was some altercation but I came with the Commissioner of Police to assure the public that the police is really in support of the order which we are trying implement and enforce in the city and whether it relates to their own buildings and buildings associated with the staff or not, they will ensure that they join the state to make sure that order is kept and order is maintained in the state.
“I just came personally to see things for myself with the commissioner of police and he has asked that those people affected should be treated in the police clinic and I believe the matter is settled.”