Delta State

Frank Omare Back With War Against Illegal Structures On Flood Plains

Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting

SOME eight years after holding sway as the Commissioner for Works in the then administration of Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan in Delta State, Frank Omare is back to continue from where he stopped in the demolition of illegal structures erected on flood plains across Delta State.

The Ijaw-born is, however, back as the Director-General, Special Duties, Governor’s Office, Delta State.

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Speaking on Monday during the demolition of three buildings, including a yet-to-be-completed church structure and a storey building at Ugboroke, in Uvwie Local Government Area, Omare said no amount of bribes or intimidation would stop him from pulling down structures causing flooding in any part of the state.

The demolished parts of the buildings were found to be occupying a chunk of the canal believed to be responsible for the annual flooring of houses in the area.

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The exercise executed with the aid of swam buggies, he said, was part of measures to ensure the free flow of water to existing rivers and prevent further flooding in Warri, Uvwie, Udu, Sapele, Ughelli, and other parts of the state.

Stonix News recalled that this is coming following the prediction of flooding, particularly in some coastal states of Nigeria, by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet).

Amid the demolition, security protection from soldiers drafted from the 3 Battalion, Nigerian Army, Effurun was available.

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Mr Omare said he would follow the mandate given to him without discrimination, adding that seven heavy equipment are at work.

“One of the mandates given to me is to remove illegal structures all over the state; in every local government area. And this is just the beginning and we’ve given them over two months to ensure that those who had built on natural water ways remove their buildings, those who do not have approval plans they should remove their buildings. And they’ve deliberately refused.

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“In ugboroke, Uvwie Local Government Area, if there’s rain for 10 minutes, everywhere will be flooded. The place is under water and we cannot continue to allow it.

“We’re not here for individual interest but the general interest. We will not compromise. We must correct things sib that we’d stop blackmailing Delta State. We’d touch everywhere.

“No sentiments. The falling away of the yellow leave is a warning to the green one. We’ve started and we’re continuing. Times are hard, things are rough, but we must do the right thing.

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Omare pointing at one of the buildings being demolished on Monday at ugboroke

“The law is law. We have about seven equipment scattered across Warri South and Uvwie local government areas. When we’re done, we’d move to other local government. It’s a warning to others.

“Nobody’s building will be spared no matter who is involved. We will not compromise. This is the way to go. Forty per cent houses here have no soak-away system. Five metres to the drainage, the roads and canals must be adhered to.

“Ministry of land and survey urban renewal are all with me to ensure things are done properly. We’re going to be very bold, and we’re bold, we’re going to be very focused and we’re focussed and we’re going to ensure that nobody is victimised. We’re paying so much money to carry out this exercise.

“Government bears the cost of all logistics to bring back sanity. Oborevwori is a street man. He knows the streets. We’re ready for those who are ready for trouble. This is a warning to others.

“Any building that has approval please bring them. Whether they’re wrongly approved, we’ll take responsibility. That’s why the ministries in charge are here. They’d tell me how they approved buildings build on waterways,” he noted.

Meanwhile, one of the residents, whose father’s building was affected, David Adu, expressed happiness that the annual flooding in the area will subside with the demolition and dredging of the canal.

“I’m happy the demolition is ongoing even though my father’s house is affected. I only ask they allow us remove our items from the building before total demolition. They should ensure they strictly follow the master plan by bringing back the canal and roads encroached on by builders,” he charged.

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