BENIN CITY – The Edo State Government has intensified the demolition of illegal structures constructed under high tension cables and other unauthorized places in the Benin metropolis.
The exercise is aimed at removing structures by illegal developers and squatters that trade in unauthorized locations such as under the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) High Tension Lines in the metropolis.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mrs. Isoken Omo said the demolition is in line with the government’s urban renewal drive.
She said the exercise became necessary following the expiry of notices and a series of warnings served to the landowners and occupants of the property.
According to her, “We are on a demolition exercise to remove illegal structures and traders under high tension/power line at Trinity Way, popularly known as Abuja Quarters.”
“How can you do an illegal thing and try to legalize it? Are we to accept things that are wrong because of some negative impacts?” she queried.
“If you know the law and decide to break it, there is always a consequence. These are some of the consequences,” the Commissioner noted.
Omo further stated, “We have, in the last two years, served notices to these people; it is not just about their livelihoods, what about their safety? If anything happens under this power line, who will be blamed? It will be the government that will be blamed; they will say the government is not doing its job.
“These places are also hideouts for hoodlums and other vices are going on there at night. It is not safe to be under power lines; the development here is haphazard; there is no planning.
“We have given them ample time to move, but instead of them to move they are building more permanent structures under the power line. We owe our state and ourselves the duty to maintain our environment and keep the environment habitable.”
The government bulldozers brought down several illegal structures, including stalls and eave extensions around Ugbor in Government Reservation Area (GRA), Benin City, even as the exercise is expected to continue.