The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Abia State has accused the state government of what it described as the unbridled demolition of buildings belonging to its members in Aba under the pretext they are illegal structures.
The party further alleged that that the Peples Democratic Party, PDP, is being vindictive over its members and Aba residents’ massive support for its candidate, Dr. Alex Otti during the last governorship election in the state.
But in a swift reaction, Special Adviser to the Governor on Aba Urban Renewal Project, Engr. Solomon Ogunji denied being selective, adding that his agency only demolishes structures built on walkways and drainage channels irrespective of the political or religious affiliation of the owner.
On the claims of approval which some of the owners of the demolished structures said they got from the government, Ogunji said; “Can anybody get approval to go hell? No government in Nigeria can grant you approval to build a fence on pedestrian walk way.”
Addressing a press conference in Aba, the State Chairman of APGA, Rev. Augustine Ehiemere, told journalists that not less than 50 buildings, fences and other structures owned by APGA sympathizers have been demolished by the Aba Urban Renewal Committee set up by the state government.
According to Ehiemere, ”we shall not fold our hands and watch as our members and supporters are terrorized and brutally dealt with by Ikpeazu’s government. Not less than 50 structures belonging to our members have been pulled down without notice or any infraction. Over 100 others have been earmarked for demolition because their owners are APGA sympathizers. We are going to explore legitimate means to ensure that they oppose any attempt by the PDP administration in the state to intimidate and attack APGA supporters in Aba and Abia State.
“Due process must be followed before demolishing those structures; the owners must be duly informed. Government should discuss with them and if they are going to be relocated, they should be well compensated like it was done in other states. Abia is not the only state where construction work is going on,” Ehiemere added.
Ehiemere insisted that his party is not opposed to measures to tackle drainage challenges in Aba, stressing that the state government should emulate its counterparts who after dialoguing with citizens of their respective states, relocated or compensated them. (Vanguard)