Written by Bolaji Ogundele, Port Harcourt Sunday, 05 August 2012
The Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has said his administration will not halt its waterfront development programme, expressing the belief that it will rid the society of criminal elements.
Speaking on Friday at the Forum of the Federated Correspondent Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Rivers State chapter, Amaechi said that he would continue with the demolition even if he does not finish the project till he leaves office as governor.
He stated that reports of the activities of criminals at the waterfronts were scary, and that owners of property in the area had severally pleaded with the government to take the areas over.
“I will demolish waterfronts till I leave. Criminals live there. We demolished Abonnema Wharf waterfront before the agreed date, after payment of compensation to the landlords though because rival cult boys in the area were shooting for many days, and fighting over which group should control monies collected from tanker drivers.
“Abonnema Wharf people asked the state government to demolish the waterfront as armed hoodlums were raping women and committing other crimes.
“Initially, I told officials of Amnesty International to come and live at any of the waterfronts for three months, that I would no longer demolish Port Harcourt’s waterfronts, but I now want them to live at the waterfront for just one week. If they can cope, I will halt the demolition”, the governor stated.
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