The Igbo National Council, INC have raised an alarm on the ongoing demolition of buildings along Douglas and Wethedral roads in Owerri, Imo State capital.
The INC claimed in a statement that it had taken time to conduct an inclusive socio economic and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIP) of the ongoing demolition and balkanization of street roads and make shift business structures of peasant traders in Owerri metropolis by the government of Imo State under Governor Rochas Okorocha.
In a statement signed by Chilos Godsent, national President of the INC said it said t came up with the findings that:
*The ongoing demolition and balkanization of make shift business places of peasant traders in Owerri metropolis will cause more hardship to the masses of the people and residence of Imo State.
* That the purported expansion of Wetheral and Douglas roads respectively pose greater danger to the foundations of over seventy percent of the buildings along the two popular roads in Owerri. We also note that the excavation has exposed and putting to risk the foundations of many of the buildings along the roads as the construction works are closely directed to the foundational blocks of some of the buildings along the road which has endangered buildings along the roads, and some of the build may risk collapse in the near future.
* That the companies carrying out the construction work along Wetheral and Douglas roads are faceless companies that may not be registered as construction companies or qualified to embark on road construction works. We also note that these faceless companies lack the technical skills and man power to carry out a quality and durable construction works
*We note with great dismay that none of the companies have their sign post on the construction site for identification.
* We also observed that the ongoing demolition, balkanization and purported expansion of Owerri metropolis are conduit pipes to further loot the treasury of Imo State.
* Shocking in our findings is the discovery that over eighty thousand (80,000) peasant traders and workers have been abysmally and recklessly displaced with impunity because of the demolition exercise.
The INC stated that “We fear the negative socio-economic consequences of the displacement of peasant traders and workers in this hard economic situation the state and the country is facing. This displacement may increase hardship, promote crimes and other social vices in the State. It may also cause many of the youths whom their business places and source of income has been destroyed to turn themselves into a willing tools for wicked politicians to use for violence and other elections related crimes. “Idle mind is a devils workshop”.
6. “In view of the above, the Igbo National Council (INC) therefore call on Gov. Rocha Anayo Okorocha to immediately stop further demolition of the business places of the peasant traders in Owerri metropolis, and also pay compensation to all the traders their businesses were destroyed and goods vandalized in the name of urban renewal” the statement concluded.