Enugu gov vows to deal with land speculators defacing natural heritage

Disturbed by the high rate of destruction of natural heritage in Enugu metropolis and its environs, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on Wednesday vowed to deal ruthlessly with land speculators defacing the natural environment in the state.

Speaking through his Commissioner for Information, Chidi Aroh, the governor said that the destruction of natural vegetation could create disaster in the state capital through erosion.

While inspecting the level of destruction done at Miliken Hill, Aria Road Hill and Iva Valley Hill behind Revival City Church, the Information Commissioner told journalists who accompanied him that Enugu State Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources had last week warned individuals, communities and authorities that are involved in the ongoing destruction of the Miliken hills’ natural heritage, especially behind the new Enugu State Infectious Disease Hospital, formerly known as Colliery Hospital Enugu and other hills in the state, to desist from further destruction of the state’s natural endowment.

Aroh stated that the state government would not fold its hands and allow the destruction to continue, insisting they would protect the state from further destruction of natural heritage that would affect the future of the city.

In his words: “This development is such that is going to cause a serious ecological crisis. As they go ahead with this removal of earth. You will see that the water flow is going to cause a lot of danger going down the lower plane and that means the whole of new market and infectious disease hospital just completed at colliery will be affected.

“These destructions are being done by ourselves, we are creating these environmental disasters. I’m sure you have seen how the beautiful environment created by nature is being destroyed by individuals. The natural heritage that was done years before we were born is being destroyed by land speculators.

“It’s important the world knows that this is not acceptable to Enugu state, the people of the state and is not going to happen because we must defend the state.

“If you tell me that this kind of thing exists, I will tell you no. The people staying around the destructive areas are being threatened. It’s important that people stop destroying natural heritage and allow it to exist as was created.

“The government will take its responsibilities. It is clear and constitutionally that our duty is primary the security and welfare of our people. Any ecological disaster constitutes a major threat to people. The government is not going to sleep. We are dealing with the report that various agencies are bringing to us.

“The natural heritage of this area is used to control erosion.

“We are on a tour, am sure you can look and see that what is happening here, is complete deforestation of Milliken hill.

‘You recall that part of the thing why we have the forest reserve in Milliken hill is that it is used as a great check to the topography of the area. We have hills around the area. You can see what we have come to face, people are cutting down the trees, hills and constructions are ongoing in those areas.

“The fact is that we must think about saving the future of the state. If we don’t we will be begging to pay dearly in the future.

“It’s important to say that the ministry of environment has been working on these over time. These destructions were done last year because of COVID-19 lockdown.

“The COVID-19 which stops the government from the level of function can’t stop the man who is targeting destruction. The developers exploited the vacuum of COVID-19 to destroy the areas.

“Enugu State Government runs open judgement now because they are accountable to the people and what happens to their environment.

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