The Edo State Government has come under serious criticism for demolishing some building in the state capital, Benin recently. Some of the structures affected are shopping malls, hotels and other commercial buildings.
All Progressives Congress (APC), in a statement signed by its State Chairman, Col. David Imuse (retd.), condemned the demolition of one property at 13, Aideyan Street, on the Ihama axis, and another housing over 60 stores, which was undergoing construction at 90, Akenzua Road, both in Benin City.
The APC said, “It is distressing that the Obaseki government is celebrating these demolitions like a rampaging occupation force. Col. Imuse said the government did not follow due process, and there is no evidence that the owners were served notice of infringement or intention to demolish.
“He said further that such actions by government was an illegality, and amounts to willful and wanton destruction amidst excruciating unemployment rate, decayed infrastructure, a worsening governance system, and unprecedented poverty in our state.”
However, Governor Obaseki said the ongoing removal of illegal structures was in line with the state extant planning laws and regulations.
Obaseki made this remark when he visited the demolition site of 30 lock-up stores illegally built at Iyekogba Housing Estate without a building permit.
The governor said, “Over the last few weeks, you will notice that our team has been going round the town to remove illegal structures that don’t have a building permit, particularly in areas with public activity.
“A lot of people build shopping malls across the city without building plans or approvals from the appropriate authority. Imagine a shopping mall on two or three levels, with almost 40 or 50 shops that has no approval. If such a building collapses, you can imagine the devastation it will create.
“Government cannot sit idle and allow lawlessness and disarray in the way people construct buildings across the state.”