Crisis is brewing between the Rivers and Bayelsa State Governments following an eviction orders served on workers occupying two buildings belonging to Bayelsa along Akassa Street in Old GRA, Port Harcourt.
The occupants, who confirmed to NAIJA LIVE TV that the set of flats located on No. 5 and No 9 Akassa Street in Old GRA Port Harcourt are owned by Bayelsa, said they were duly allocated to them by the State government.
The occupants, however, lamented that they were being forcefully evicted from the properties by the Rivers government.
The tenants in the buildings consisting of 12 flats said they had lived there with their families for many years without any problem noting that they were surprised at the 14-day eviction notice, which they said had expired.
They confirmed that a team of policemen and officials of the Rivers State Government visited the place on Wednesday morning following a plan to demolish the properties.
They were seen making frantic arrangements to vacate the place to avoid losing their valuables during the planned demolition.
They were also seen loading their valuables to some waiting vehicles to leave the area.
One of the occupants and Head, Protocol for the Bayelsa State Government in Port Harcourt, Smith Noah, said the notice accused them of defacing the face of the environment.
Noah said: “Some people came to paste a notice that we are causing nuisance and defacing the environment. So Rivers State Government is giving us 14 days to pack out.
“We are not staying here on our own. We are Bayelsa State Government workers. I am Head of Protocol for Bayelsa State Government in Port Harcourt here.
“We were thinking that if there is anything that the Rivers State Government want to do with us, we have an office here and the Rivers State Government knows the office.
“Ordinarily they would have served the Bayelsa State government if there is any reason for us to vacate this place.
“Unfortunately few days ago, we heard information that they are coming to demolish this place.
“So we have informed our superior and they said we should wait that they have already served the Rivers State Government with a court order.”
He added: “Yesterday (Wednesday) I was assigned to do a job at the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs. On my way my neighbour called me that more than 50 vans came to vacate us.
“When I came back the officials said said they were giving us till this morning (Thursday) to park out.
“I have been here for five years now. But you can see we are removing our things instead of somebody to come and destroy our property.”
Noah said he was angry at the allegations contained in the notice.
He said: “Bayelsa was created out of Rivers State. So if Rivers State has any good intention for Bayelsa, the right thing to do is to settle with our Governor (Douye Diri) not give we occupants this punishment”.
Another occupant, Bridget Allison, who said she had lived there for 11 years wondered why a state government would be acting in such a way towards another state government.
She said: “The people that came here yesterday said the Rivers State Government is coming to demolish this place.
” Even to pack out froóm this place now we need money because we don’t have anywhere to go.”
“I am a stafd of Bayelsa State Government and i have been living here for almost eleven years now.
“” You know things are so difficult now. Let the Bayelsa State Government come to our aid.”
A notice signed by the Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Lands and Survey, Sir Alozie Nwala, and dated April 19th.
The notice 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,nPoet 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 nof rhe 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.”
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