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Bayelsa, Rivers in face-off over Wike’s threat to demolish building



The governments of Bayelsa and Rivers states are heading for a face off over the threat by the Rivers State government to take over and demolish a building owned by the Bayelsa government and situated in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Rivers State government headed by Nyesom Wike threatened to take over the property belonging to the Bayelsa State government located in the Old GRA, Port Harcourt, for allegedly constituting public nuisance and defacing the Rivers Government’s Urban Renewal Infrastructural Development Policies.

In response, the Bayelsa government said it had served the Rivers State Government with a court order, to halt the eviction and, or demolishment plans.

The Rivers State government which issued the threat on Thursday, said it was relying on an eviction notice given to the Bayelsa government on April 19 signed by River State Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Lands and Survey, Alozie Nwala, which read:

“That in contravention of the covenants and conditions contained in the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) issued to Bayelsa State Government in respect of Plots 34 ad 35 (5, Akassa Stree and Plot 37 (9, Akassa Street) Golf Course Extension Layout, Port Harcourt, notice is hereby given by the Rivers State Government that occupants of the said property should vacate.

“Take notice that occupants of the mentioned property are given 14 days from date of this notice to vacate buildings thereon. The said buildings not only constituting public nuisance, but also defacing Rivers 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.”

Read Also: Wike orders demolition of AIT building in Rivers

However, the Head of Protocol for the Bayelsa State Government, Smith Noah, who spoke to journalists on Thursday, said the eviction notice should have been served on the Bayelsa government and not occupants of the property.

“Some people came to paste a notice that we are causing nuisance and defacing the environment. So Rivers State Government is giving us 14 days to pack out.

“We are not staying here on our own. We are Bayelsa State Government workers. We were thinking that if there is anything that the Rivers State Government wants to do with us, we have an office here and the Rivers State Government knows the office.

“Ordinarily they would have served the Bayelsa State government if there is any reason for us to vacate this place. Unfortunately, few days ago, we heard information that they are coming to demolish this place. So we have informed our superior and they said we should wait that they have already served the Rivers State Government with a court order.

“On Wednesday, I was assigned to do a job at the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. On my way, my neighbour called that more than 50 vans came to vacate us. When I came back the officials said said they were giving us till this morning (Thursday) to pack out.

“I have been here for five years now. But you can see we are removing our things instead of somebody to come and destroy our property,” he said.

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