As Government begins demolition of illegal structures in Owerri


The monumental destruction of illegal structures currently going on in Owerri is quite unfortunate for the victims. Business owners, schools and churches are all counting their losses.

The government, in her resolve to restore the master plan and beauty of the city, was reported to have given the victims prior notices long ago to vacate or relocate to appropriate place for their businesses or trade. But they did not comply until this exercise begun.

At Amakohia roundabout down towards Orji Mechanic Village, business owners were caught unawares as government agency moved in and suddenly began to remove/demolish illegal structures. One of the spokesman who preferred anonymity, told that government has resolved to restore the master plan of the city. He also said that work is about to continue on the bridge hence the need for the exercise. He pointed that the the exercise is not aimed at punishing anyone but regretted the hardship and inconvenience it may cause the affected persons.

The feelings at the sites of the destruction is that of pity, shock and grief. Some of the affected persons who narrated their ordeals told us that they have no money to rent shops at choice places. Others wailed, lamenting that the destroyed business is their only means of livelihood. Perhaps, the most unfortunate of the victims are those who pooled or borrowed money to build new container shops and was still spending money to put it in order before the exercise began. As such, they have been heavily indebted and are forced to auction their ‘Containers’ to any available buyer in other to make ends meet.

But why did they have to wait till this moment since they have been given prior notice to quit? Why were many more entrepreneurs, schools and churches putting up structures there knowing that the places are reserved or restricted for such endeavours? Why didn’t government prevent them on time from getting in those places instead of waiting till now to ‘inflict hardship’ on them with this exercise.

In all, all parties in this on-going exercise could have avoided these monumental losses if adequate plan and professional advice were sought.

In effect, the classical counsel of Jesus Christ, our saviour in Matthew 7:24-27 readily comes to mind as an antidote: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Apparently the entrepreneurs did not build their businesses on solid foundation; while the government failed to say what she ought to say unequivocally for the entrepreneurs to hear. What is happening now should be an eye-opener to anyone who wishes to become an entrepreneur in Owerri r any other place whatsoever.


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