Soludo demolishes 300 Shops, 5 Plazas in Onitsha, orders integrity tests on ongoing building projects 

No fewer than 300 illegal structures as well as 5 plazas built as shops were on Monday demolished in Onitsha, Anambra State by the Onitsha South local Government Council.

The demolition followed the collapse of a five storey building on Sunday at Fegge in the commercial city of the state.

The illegal structures were said to have been built by traders who allegedly got the approval of the National Inland Water Ways NIWA which Governor Chukwuma Soludo said the organization have no right to build or allocate spaces to traders.

Soludo had, during inspection of roads ordered the Chairman, Onitsha South local government, Chief Emeka Orji to demolish the illegal structures which he said belonged to the state and not NIWA.

“The code or bye laws establishing NIWA gave the organization 100 metres from the banks of the River Niger as right of easement but what we are seeing here are illegal structures and should be demolished” the governor said.

The area spans up to two acres of land resides on the fringe of the River Niger housing shanty settlements of street urchins credited to be a harbinger of hoodlums.

Reacting, Hausa Community in the area led by Secretary of Hausa Community in Onitsha North local South local government areas Alhaji Ishawu Imam whose father is the Sariki of the Hausa Community lauded the Council Chairman for giving them time to move out their property.

The community added that the Hausa Community in Onitsha South is happy with the developmental status of Soludo-led administration, pledging continued support to him.

Chairman Onitsha South local government area, Orji who was at the site to supervise the demolition said the area would be barricaded and cleared for establishment of a Sea Side Resort which would have green park areas with umbrella trees for relaxation and amusement.

“When I was sworn in as Council Chairman last year I came here and issued them notice to move out and the notice was followed by series of follow up notices but they remained here.

“Then last week Mr Governor came here and told them that this place is not for shops or markets and ordered me to demolish the area but I gave them another one  week notice which ended today” he said.

Orji further announced that most buildings currently under construction would be subjected to integrity test which included material test, qualify test, adding that after meeting with Chairman Physical Planning Board in Awka, government would commence the process.

“Everywhere cannot be market in Onitsha and we have declared war on illegal structures and we shall ensure that right thing is done about building collapse in Onitsha South local government area” he added.

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