Buildings Demolished in Anambra as Govt Sends Out Warning to Developers over Land Encroachment, Assault on Its Operatives
Anambra State Joint Enforcement Taskforce on Tuesday was seen demolishing several building structures in Idemili North and South Council Areas in Anambra for alleged violation of building laws in the state, with a warning that the State Government will henceforth go after defaulting developers.
The demolition happened during an enforcement operation by the taskforce comprising men of the Anambra State Physical Planning Board, ANSPPB, Department of State Security, Nigeria police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, Anambra Vigilante Group and the Operation clean and Healthy Anambra, OCHA brigade.
Among the demolished structures were a fence and gate at Immanuel Church Street, around Joedon area of Nkpor built by a developer, blocking an access road built by government.
Also partially demolished was a factory on government land where some people sold and were putting poles on the roads.
The taskforce also completely demolished a one-storey block of lock-up stores under construction at Oba, where the developer was said to have assaulted and maimed officials of the ANSPPB, who came to the site earlier this year for enforcement.
Speaking during the exercise, the ANSPPB Chairman, Barr Chike Maduekwe, who led the enforcement operation, said it was part of the routine activities of the Board to ensure compliance with development control standards.
He explained that the exercise was in line with the mandate given to the taskforce to clean up the mess in the building industry in the state.
“Here at Joedone area of Nkpor, this is the third time our team is coming here where someone bought a road. They had built a house across the road built by government.
“The last time we came here last year, the building was at lintern level and it was brought down and now they have rebuilt again.
“Unfortunately, each time we go there, we are not able to see those building the thing so that they can be arrested.
“They have so terrorised the legitimate residents that they cannot speak. The building was put on the road and it blocked all the buildings on both sides and the residents said they have not been able to access their buildings with their cars for about six months.
“We cleared it only to get information that they went and put a gate on the street blocking the entire street, providing cover for criminals who hide under the cover of the gates to attack innocent citizens.
“So, we have levelled the gates and cleared it,” he said.
Speaking at the Oba building site, the ANSPPB Chairman narrated how the developer had beaten up the government enforcement team and destroyed their vehicles.
“Here, our staff came on their normal enforcement operation just before January and they were beaten mercilessly.
“The developer used matchets to cut them severely and smashed our vehicles windscreen. The pictures were so gruesome that I sent the pictures to the governor.
“We are here today to pull the building down completely,” he said.
Maduekwe warned developers that the state government will no longer tolerate any form of assault on its officials on legitimate duty, saying any such action will be met with response.
“We want to send a message to all developers who think they can do anything and get away with it that it can no longer be tolerated.
“No one can intimidate the government and the administration of Governor Chukwuma Soludo is committed to building a liveable and prosperous Anambra State where rule of law prevails,” he warned.
Some residents of the residents at Nkpor alleged that an individual whose name was given as Mighty, has been the one who keeps reselling the particular place to unsuspecting buyers.
Some other residents who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity expressed their happiness to the government for coming to their aid.
According to them, they have been finding it difficult to go and come out of their various compound due to the blockage, but with the demolition and reopening up of the road, they can now easily access their buildings.