Demolition of illegal structures: Bayelsa Govt warns against fraudsters

Demolition of illegal structures: Bayelsa Govt warns against fraudsters

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 5:38 pm

Governor Diri

…Govt says more demolitions of illegal structures coming

Okafor Ofiebor

Landlords and traders in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital have been cautioned to be mindful of fraudsters promising to protect their illegal structures from being demolished  by the security sub-committee of the Taskforce on covid-19.

The warning is coming against the backdrop of reports of persons claiming they could influence members of the taskforce against the removal of their illegal structures marked for demolition.

Some unsuspecting members of the public who have already fallen prey to the fraudsters, were allegedly told to pay some amount of money to protect their structures that were eventually removed.

In a statement, Freston Akpor, Permanent Secretary, Bayelsa Ministry of Information and Orientation and member Bayelsa State Task Force On Covid-19 warned that fraudsters are apparently taking advantage of the removal exercise at Swali market, Etegwe and Edepie illegal markets by Tombia Roundabout to defraud gullible landlords and traders.

Freston Akpor says for the avoidance of doubt, the task force is not under the influence of any person or group of persons and takes directives from only the Executive Governor of the State or his representatives.

He said, owners of illegal structures identified for removal would not only be given prior notice but also asked to remove them before the commencement of any action.

He said the task force has not and does not have any reason to engage the services of person(s) to collect money from anyone on its behalf and thus wants concerned members of the public to report suspected fraudsters to the Police foŕ arrest and subsequent prosecution.

Meanwhile,Akpor in the statement also called on landlords and shop owners operating in illegal structures or have illegal structures and extensions on buildings particularly on major roads in the state capital to remove such structures to avoid forceful demolition by the task force soon.

Similarly, traders at Igbogene, Okaka and Opolo markets as well as Opolo roundabout are also advised to remove all their illegal structures immediately as the taskforce will soon move in to remove such structures as part of the urban renewal plans by government.

The Bayelsa State Government had explained that the demolitions will create room for the planned Urban renewal programme of Governor Duoye Diri.

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