Mixed reactions as taskforce commences demolition of structures in Delta

Mixed reactions currently trail the commencement of the demolition of illegal structures blurring the aesthetics of Asaba, the Delta State capital.

The special task force on the environment, recently inaugurated by the state government, started the demolition of illegal stalls and makeshift structures about three days ago.

Members of the task force include the Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu, the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Chris Onogba, the Director-General, Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency and Mrs Onyeamechi Mrakpor.

Others are Chairman, Delta State Waste Management Board, Mr Emma Chinye and Director-General, State Bureau of Orientation and Mr Eugene Uzum.

TribuneOnline also gathered that most of the usually filthy road medians with indiscriminate waste dumps have been cleared, particularly along the popular Nnebisi road and this is gradually restoring the aesthetic beauty of the ancient town.

However, amid the demolition exercise being aggressively pursued by the taskforce and its aesthetic dividends, reports said newspaper vendors in Asaba are groaning.

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They have reportedly accused the task force of destroying their stalls where they showcase their papers for the reading audience and where they obviously eke their daily living.

It would be recalled that the taskforce had, at a press briefing led by Mrs Mrakpor last week, claimed to have sensitised the populace through its enlightenment campaigns, besides holding a strategic meeting with all stakeholders on the impending exercise.

It claimed that a 21-day ultimatum was earlier issued to landlords and operators of business premises to keep their surroundings clean and remove all objects or shanties defacing the aesthetics of the environment.

TribuneOnline gathered that Mrs Mrakpor had reportedly claimed that at the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum, a demand notice of seven days was issued to all concerned stakeholders and that it was at the expiration of the seven-day demand notice that the clean-up commenced.

Meanwhile, one of the vendors, whose platform was affected, admitted that the demand notice was issued, but argued that there was no specific mention of their stalls where they trade.

“With what is going on in Asaba now where they destroying our tables, I don’t think we will continue to sell the papers because there is no place for us to shade them,” the vendor who craved anonymity lamented.

He, however, appealed to the state government to come out clear on the specification of platform needed for Newspapers vendoring business as well as issue a timeline for its provision.

It was however gathered that the newspaper distributors have already written a formal letter of complaints to the relevant authorities.

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