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Residents Lament As Bayelsa Govt Demolishes Illegal Structures


The Bayelsa State Environmental Sanitation Board today began the destruction of illegal structures along the only highway that leads into the state capital.

According to the officials, the structures are not befitting of a state capital but the owners have been venting their anger and pleading for more time to move their wares.

The traders and other occupants of the structures had been given an order to vacate the area since January, but they did not obey it, according to the government.


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As the bulldozers rolled in on Saturday to rid the area of the structures, some of the occupants insisted that the exercise took them by surprise and that they were not informed.

“They did not inform me. I did not hear anything; I am just seeing this today,” one of the traders said while crying. “I don’t have a husband, I don’t have anything.”

Others called for more time to relocate.

“They should give us a little time so that we can put ourselves together and look for another place,” another trader said.

While some pleaded for mercy, some were angry at the implication of the exercise for them.

A young trader who sold building materials and water tanks was one of those angered by the development.

“Where will I drop all these goods?” he asked. “At least, they should give us at least from now until next year. This notice was not the one issued to us from January. Look at my own store here, they didn’t write anything to me.”

The government officials, however, insisted that the order must be carried out since the notice to that effect had been given more than eight months ago.

Chairman of the Sanitation Authority, Mr Robert Enogha, said, “In January this year, we started marking (the structures). Then from April, we started giving abatement notices. Conscious of the fact that things are hard, (and) relocation is also very hard, we gave that grace and I think the grace is overwhelming us. This is September already – we have entered the ‘ember months’,” he said, adding that the demolition was supposed to have started 14 days after marking the structures.


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“Conscious of the fact that things are hard, (and) relocation is also very hard, we gave that grace and I think the grace is overwhelming us. This is September already – we have entered the ‘ember months’.” he said, adding that the demolition was supposed to have started 14 days after marking the structures.

Ancha said the demolition was supposed to have started 14 days after marking the structures.

According to the demolition team, the structures are defacing the Bayelsa State capital and can as well be a hideout for criminals.

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