Onitsha residents, landlords protest unapproved construction of petrol station

Onitsha residents, landlords protest unapproved construction of petrol station

…as residents urge Soludo to halt the construction and investigate its approval

Residents and landlords of Fegge, Onitsha in Anambra State have raised the alarm over construction of Liquefied Petroleum Gas/Petrol Station in their residential area by a private company in the area.

The protesters, numbering over 70 and living along Creek road and Gunning Street queried the license and approval to the company for siting such project capable of causing disaster in the area.

Their protest is contained in a petition to Governor Chukwuma Soludo, copied to Chairman, Anambra State Urban Development Board, ASUDEB, Commissioner for Environment, Commissioner for Lands and Survey, State Physical Planning Authority, State Fire Service and the Coordinator NMDPRA, Zonal Office, Awka.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters in Onitsha, Mr Joseph Ugbana and Mr. Izuchukwu Okolo, described the facility as bomb waiting to explode, calling on government to halt the ongoing construction and punish the culprits accordingly. 

Ugbana said, “We doubt approval for the project by State or Federal governments or any of their agencies since the place was originally for residential building as no such project like Gas/Fuel station have ever been located there.

“It is only a compromised government agency that can approve and license the construction and operation of a Petrol and Gas station in a densely populated residential area like ours.

“The site was formerly No.2 Arondizuogu Street housing a two storey building whose tenants were told to quit for reconstruction not knowing that it was for building of a Petrol/ Gas station, a time bomb that is waiting to explode and those who approved it will come to shed crocodile tears when the disaster will happen.”

Lawyer to the petitioners, Mr. Nkem Olise described the illegal construction as clear breach to extant rules.

He urged Governor Chukwuma Soludo and other relevant authorities to halt the construction and investigate its approval.

He said, “The obvious illegal construction clearly breaches the extant rules of the authority to construction the of Liquefied Petroleum /Gas Outlet and Petrol Stations because it is sitting in a densely populated area.

“Besides, the plot of land was originally designated as a residential plot until the developer bought No 2 Arondizuogu Street and the residential building sitting on it, demolished it with a view to converting to petrol and Gas Station.

“The proximity of the ongoing construction, is health and fire risk to the entire neighborhood, we will seriously suffer from the harmful effect of hazardous substances and vapour usually encountered in such environment.

“Nobody should come to shed crocodile tears when disaster occurs if government and authorities fail to act on the letter from the complainants.”

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