Paul Obiajunwo, PortHarcourt
The Rivers State Commissioner for Urban Development and Physical planning, Mr. Chinyere Igwe yesterday gave the reason why Rivers State government enforced the demolition policy of shanties and waterfronts in the state.
It would be recalled that Rivers State government early this year undertook the demolition of waterfronts settlement and other shanties in the state after a controversial seven –day notice of quit which later resulted into protest by the thousands of settlers.
The theme of this year’s world habitat day is “Housing At The Centre.”
But yesterday during a tour to the sites of shanties as part of the event marking the world habitat day, the commissioner said the Rivers State government meant well for the shanties settlers.
He said the government was demolishing the waterfront and other areas to build good and affordable housing for all.
He noted government cannot abandoned the original settlers as being rumored, adding that governor Nyesom Wike vision is to create enabling environment that is free of crime.
He called on the settlers to support governor Wike’s administration who he described as a man who has the interest of the common man at heart.
Mr. Igwe said: “The government wants people to live comfortable, we have seen the slumps, there is no drainage, water, toilet, and electricity. And when there is fire outbreak it would be a serious disaster, so our plan is to demolish it and build an affordable housing.
“We have a very good plan of how these places should look like. There will be drainage system, there is also another area which has been demolished and people can live very well. Our mandate is to see how people can live well, for every house there must be drainage around it.
“The governor has a good plan for the residents of the state. We are putting housing at the centre of urban strategy and our development will focus on how to accommodate low, medium and high income earners in the state in line with the vision of the present administration.”