Enugu House divided over planned demolition of illegal structures

Membeenugurs 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.


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