The Rivers State Government on Friday began the demolition of a set of buildings belonging to the Bayelsa State Government on Akassa Street, Old GRA axis of Port Harcourt.
The properties are on a large expanse of land at numbers 5 and 9 Akassa Street in the high brow Old GRA axis.
According to the PUNCH, the properties are the residential quarters for workers of Bayelsa State Government Liaison Office in Port Harcourt.
Recall that Bayelsa was created out of Rivers State by late Military Head of State, Sani Abacha, on October 1st 1996.
The vacation notice issued before the demolition read, “That in contravention of the covenants and conditions contained in the Certificate of Occupancy issued to Bayelsa State Government in respect of plots 34&35 (No 5 Akassa Stree and plot 37 (No 9 Akassa Street ) Golf Course Extension Layout, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, notice is hereby given by the Rivers State Government that the occupants of the said property should vacate.
“Take notice that the occupants of the above-mentioned properties are hereby given 14 days from the date of this notice to vacate buildings thereon.
“As the said buildings are not only constituting public nuisance, but also defacing the Rivers State Government’s Urban Renewal Infrastructural Development policies as relates to the Golf Course Old GRA Layout.
“Take further notice that at expiration of this notice, Rivers State Government will take possession of the properties.”
Our correspondent who was at the scene of the demolition observed that all the occupants had moved out with their families on Thursday when they got wind of the planned demolition.
As at 8am on Friday, some workers invaded the premises with axe, hammer and other equipment, and started de-roofing the building before the actual demolition.
By 10:20am, excavators and bulldozers moved in and started pulling down the structures which housed about 15 families and those living at the boys quarters.
Heavily armed policemen men mounted guard within the precincts in the event of any disturbances.
While the demolition was on, the policemen prevented journalists from taking pictures and entering the building.
Some of the occupants who were present during the demolition were spotted talking about the property.
One evictee who is a staff of the Bayelsa State Liaison office in Port Harcourt, Pastor Isaac Board, said he hurriedly packed out of the building.
He stated, “I have no place to stay as I speak to you. I and my family slept in the corridor of a friend’s place last night.
“We are workers with the Bayelsa State, so let the governmentnt come to our aide by giving us a place to stay.”
Another distraught man, an Administrative Officer at the Liaison office, Woseebimu Frank-Oputu, said he was presently staying at the church with his family.
“It was my pastor that came with a truck to carry my property. I and my family are putting up in the church,” he stated.