Members of the Enugu State House of Assembly were at loggerheads on Thursday over the move by the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) to demolish illegal structures on waterways.
The Commissioner for ECTDA, Hon Chijioke Aroh, had last Monday embarked on a tour of some of the places threatened by erosion with members of the House Committee on Environment, representatives of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other stakeholders.
Thereafter, he disclosed that the agency would apply the law in removing all illegal structures to let Enugu metropolis become a well organised city in compliance with its original masterplan.
Aroh said that 141 illegal sites were blocking waterways in various parts thereby constituting to the menace of floods in the state capital.
He said that in as much as the various owners of the sites have completely refused to come and clear with his agency on how they acquired the Certificates of Occupancy (Cs of O) to erect structures along waterways, the demolition would go on.
At yesterday’s plenary session of the House, the move by ECTDA turned into a rowdy session. The house was divided as Hon. James Asadu, representing Igbo Etiti West Constituency, in a motion on a matter of urgent public importance, directed the Ministry of Enugu Capital Territory to immediately demolish all structures built on the waterways within the Enugu Capital Territory.
Hon. Asadu said his reason stems from the threat constituted by flood and erosion in the metropolis, stating that if urgent action is not taken, the city would be in for trouble as a greater part of it would be submerged by flood.
Asadu, who is the House Committee Chairman on Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, explained that he observed with dismay how people built on water channels, consequent upon which drainages and gutters were blocked,.
But some members of the house kicked against the motion. Hon. Ude Okoye representing Awgu North, Hon. Iloabuchi Aniagu representing Nkanu West, Hon. Chima Obieze of Ezeagu constituency and others who moved against the motion, expressed fears that the state might run into trouble as the property owners might seek legal action, especially those of them who got approval of the plots of land in question from the state government agencies, before commencing their buildings.
The Deputy Speaker, Hon. Dons Uzogbado, representing Oji River constituency, leading the park of the state legislators in support of the motion, including Hon. Chuka Eneh, represent-ing Udi South constituency and Hon. Agbo Ugwumba of Enugu East Rural, called on the House to take action because the law is no re-specter of persons.