Delta Cautions Arewa Community against Obstructing Asaba Renewal Plan

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Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba

The Delta State Government has charged leaders of Arewa community against resisting government’s efforts at urban renewal in the state capital including removal of ramshackle structures especially at the Cable Point Area of Asaba metropolis.

The Arewa community, comprising mainly Hausa/Fulani residents, has demanded that government called to order one Chief Ubaka Ugbaka, the Managing Director of Roxwood to establish the actual position of the state government on the matter.

Ugbaka, also the urban renewal consultant, had alleged threats to his life and those of his staff, claiming that he only recently escaped being kidnapped by the whiskers while threatening messages to his staff over the project has continued.

Cable Point area of Asaba is a densely populated neighbourhood characterised by untidy structures and slum environment, which has constituted serious challenge to plans at upgrading of infrastructure in the state capital.
The Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency has maintained its readiness to engage in massive urban renewal of Asaba and adjoining areas in a bid to raise the physical and infrastructure befitting

The Arewa Community, comprising mainly Hausa/Fulani residents, has demanded that government called to order one Chief Ubaka Ugbaka, the Managing Director of Roxwood to establish the actual position of the state government on the matter.

Ugbaka, also the urban renewal consultant, had alleged threats to his life and those of his staff, claiming that he only recently escaped being kidnapped by the whiskers while threatening messages to his staff over the project has continued.

Cable Point area of Asaba is a densely populated neighborhood characterised by untidy structures and slum environment, which has constituted serious challenge to plans at upgrading of infrastructure in the state capital.

The Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency has maintained its readiness to engage in massive urban renewal of Asaba and adjoining areas in a bid to raise the physical and infrastructure befitting the status of Asaba as a state capital.

However, the Director General, Delta State Capital Development Agency (DSCDA) Chief Clement Ofuani, in a meeting with the Arewa Community in Asaba yesterday, warned that their opposition to redevelopment was wrong while their threats cannot hold water.
He said nobody should give the urban renewal any ethnic slang as it was targeted at a particular tribe or religion.
Ufuani noted that Igbos Igbiras, Hausas, Yorubas and others were also living at Cable Point but none of them that have land there bought it in the name of their tribe or ethnic nationality.

He said: “It is a very wrong step to take and that nobody should tell the state government a slump should remain a slump in the capital city of a state in this country. You can’t have such in Abuja and anywhere else and be happy about it. What we should be saying is how our businesses and houses can be protected and re development plan carried out.’’

Ofuani, who expressed displeasure for creating unnecessary tension in Asaba over the rumoured plans that DSCDA has concluded plans to destroy Hausa quarters at Cable Point Area, said the state government was not carrying out any compulsory acquisition of landed property within Asaba.

Government has the right to invite investors, raise money itself for development purposes, he said while promising that in the process abide by international benchmarks by preserving historical sites and given the people living there their due respect.

“No approved building plan to show the state government wanted to demolish buildings and start construction immediately, he explained, saying that only property owners can give ‘Power of Attorney’ unlike their misconceptions that it emanated from Ugbaka, the consultant.”
He revealed that the state government would continue to encourage private sector developers to do their commercial transactions, saying historical sites would be protected to become tourist attractions.

Earlier, Babajero Ibrahim, Seriki of Arewa Community, had stated that they did not want such remoulding especially when the Ugbaka wanted to cause problems between them, Asaba community and the state government.

Speaking through Alhaji lbrahim Lawal, he said temper rose when houses, mosques, cemeteries and others were marked for demolition, warning that the process must stop.
Similarly, Ogbueshi Adizue Eboka pointed out that nobody should make the indigines of Asaba, the original owners of the land have the impression that some people are claiming their land as an ethnic homeland and trying to truncate the peace that has long existed between neighbors.


Culled from here

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