Tears, anguish as Rivers govt demolishes P/Harcourt’s waterfront community

Property of some of the residents displaced by demolition in Npogu community.

Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Rivers State Government officials on Wednesday carried out the orders of Governor Nyesom Wike  to demolish the sprawling Nkpogu waterfront in Port Harcourt.

Wike, had during a visit to Nkpogu waterfront in Port Harcourt City local government on Sunday said security reports revealed that the area has become a safe haven for criminals and for perpetration of criminal activities like counterfeiting of carbonated drinks and water.

But the demolition rendered hundreds who are also living in the waterfront homeless.

Our correspondent reports that tears, agony and forlorn dotted faces of distraught residents who helplessly scampered to recover their household properties under rampaging bulldozers.

Some of the affected residents lamented that they have nowhere to pack to as the state government did not give them ample notice.

The state government had mobilised bulldozers and other earth moving  equipment to the area as early as 6 am on Wednesday.

Bulldozer at work in Nkpogu waterfront on orders of Governor Wike on Wednesday

It was observed that many of the displaced residents  wore  mournful faces wondering  where to they would be packing their belongings while others stood tearfully watching the demolition of what was once their home.

A female resident bemoaned: “If Governor Wike said criminals are living with us, he should have arrested them and leave us alone. As I speak to you I could not recover most of our properties, and we were not given notices to look for alternative accommodation”.

Residents affected by the exercise, had on Monday, pleaded with the state government to give them more time to find shelter elsewhere, before proceeding with the demolition but to no avail.