On Friday, the Rivers State Government started demolishing a number of Bayelsa State Government-owned structures on Akassa Street in Port Harcourt’s Old GRA axis.
The homes are located at numbers 5 and 9 Akassa Street on the affluent Old GRA axis on a sizable plot of land.
According to reports, the homes serve as housing for employees of the Bayelsa State Government Liaison Office in Port Harcourt.
On October 1st, 1996, the late military head of state Sani Abacha creates Bayelsa state out of Rivers state.
The vacation notice issued before the demolition read, “That in contravention of the covenants and conditions contained in the Certificate of Occupancy issued to Bayelsa State Government in respect of plots 34&35 (No 5 Akassa Stree and plot 37 (No 9 Akassa Street ) Golf Course Extension Layout, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, notice is hereby given by the Rivers State Government that the occupants of the said property should vacate.
“Take notice that the occupants of the above mentioned properties are hereby given 14 days from the date of this notice to vacate buildings thereon.
“As the said buildings are not only constituting public nuisance, but also defacing the Rivers State Government’s Urban Renewal Infrastructural Development policies as relates to the Golf Course Old GRA Layout.
“Take further notice that at expiration of this notice, Rivers State Government will take possession of the properties.”
According to reports, when they learned of the planned demolition on Thursday, all of the tenants moved out with their families.
Before the building was demolished, some workmen entered the site at 8 a.m. on Friday morning armed with an axe, hammer and other tools.
Excavators and bulldozers arrived at the site around 10:20 am and began demolishing the buildings, which had been home to about 15 families as well as residents of the boys’ quarters.
Within the precincts, heavily armed police officers were stationed as guards in case there were any disruptions.
The police officers stopped journalists from accessing the premises and taking pictures while the destruction was taking place.
A few of the residents who were there during the destruction were spotted conversing about the property.
One evictee who is a staff of the Bayelsa State Liaison office in Port Harcourt, Pastor Isaac Board, said he hurriedly packed out of the building.
He stated, “I have no place to stay as I speak to you. I and my family slept in the corridor of a friend’s place last night.
“We are workers with the Bayelsa State, so let the governmentnt come to our aide by giving us a place to stay.”
Another distraught man, an Administrative Officer at the Liaison office, Woseebimu Frank-Oputu, said he was presently staying at the church with his family.
“It was my pastor that came with a truck to carry my property. I and my family are putting up in the church,” he stated.