Anambra State Government has vowed to sustain its operation to recover all its lands taken over by hooligans across parts of the state, who constitute themselves as authorities, harassing legitimate government partners.
The Executive Chairman of Anambra State Physical Planning Board, ANSPPB, Barrister Chike Maduekwe made the vow on Wednesday, after the State Taskforce on demolition of illegal structures, carried out symbolic demolition of unapproved structures in Oba in Idemili Council area of Anambra State.
Few months ago, officials of ANSPPB had raided the old Anambra airport site and demolished all illegal structures there.
It was gathered that some youths who have parcelled out the lands to themselves, had also assigned commanders to the places, making them inaccessible to officials of development control agencies of government.
Several efforts by officials of ANSPPB to enforce regulations in the areas have been met with brute force as the errant youths continued to sell of the lands to unsuspecting developers.
However, following the raid by the State Taskforce, the government had warned the general public against buying properties from the youths because the said land belongs to Anambra State Government.
Speaking after the exercise yesterday, Bar Maduekwe called on developers in Oba and environs to desist from erecting buildings without approvals.
Maduekwe said government can no longer condone any form of illegality and hooliganism, saying the vision of a liveable, prospereous and green Anambra State by Mr. Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, is achievable with the State Physical Planning Board on the mandate to actualize it.
“Mr Governor has said he will build a safe, prosperous, green homeland in Anambra and he is determined to do that.
“We are still appealing to the developers and we are willing to show human face to whatever we are doing but they must not take it for granted.
“This is a final warning to the developers; come and do the right thing so that we can achieve a planned and liveable city together.
“The present administration pf Mr Governor frowns at any form of illegality especially as regards structural development. Anybody who fails to comply with this directive will face the full wrath of the law,” Maduekwe warned.
He disclosed that the Ministry of Lands has issued a new policy that anyone doing any project on government land, must first come to the Ministry to get a letter of clearance and with that, later proceed to the State Physical Planning Board for approval.
“Without that letter of clearance, we cannot give you approval. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse and that is why we are sounding this note of warning,” he said.
Commenting on the demolition of structures at the proposed site of Anambra Airport Ọba, Barr Maduekwe advised those buying property on government lands to first seek letter of clearance from the Ministry of Lands then proceed to ANSPPB for approval.
He said, “This is to ascertain the authenticity of the property because miscreants and hooligans are on the rampage.”
“The old airport site is the property of the Anambra State Government and was given to developers under a PPP arrangement, but government has not been able to do anything approval there because of the level of hooliganism and lawlessness.
“Anybody buying property from that site is risking demolition because the government paid full land acquisition compensation to the community and also given compensatory plots too.
“Unfortunately, some youths started selling the same land to other people and the issue became too much that government issued a policy that it will no longer tolerate such lawlessness where youths chase away developers.
“The taskforce went there today and also went to an area where it is impossible to enter unless you come with a lot of security.
“We have served notices to developers there that if they do not do what they need to do and regularize their approvals, government will come back and remove whatever is there.
“Development cannot happen when criminals and hoodlums have taken over, intimidating law-abiding partners of government.
“It is shocking to hear one of the developers say he has done ‘Ewu ani’ up to 30 million naira.
“This cannot be allowed to continue and that is why we are here.”
Maduekwe further warned the youths of Oba community to desist from harassing and intimidating genuine developers approved by the government to develop the site.
He maintained that such distraction hinders fast development and that any structure on that site presently is illegal and risks demolition in the shortest time possible.