• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Abia demolishes illegal structures in Aba for state-owned hotel

Abia demolishes illegal structures in Aba for state-owned hotel

…moves to rid area of criminals

Abia State Government has begun the demolition of shanties and illegal structures on Aba River bank to pave way for reconstruction of Enyimba Hotel, a proposed five star hotel, which was abandoned for over two decades.

Enyimba Hotels Limited Aba, a towering edifice of about 100 rooms, situated at Ogbo-Hill and facing the Aba River, in the minds of the founding fathers, was designed not only to beautify the city, but also to develop the area as a tourist centre.

However, more than 40 years of that initiative, the hotel is yet to be realised, leaving the entire facility to rot away and become a criminal heaven.

According to sources the abandoned facility has become a hideout for drug peddlers and criminals that attack pedestrians and motorists at the Ogbor Hill bridge and adjoining streets.

But, in order to sanitise the area and provide a conducive environment for construction workers, Governor Alex Otti, directed security operatives to clear the area.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Operation Crush, in collaboration with the Greater Aba Development Authority (GADA), in a joint operation, carried out the clearance exercise.

McDonald Ubah, a retired Navy commander and special adviser to Abia State Governor on Security, said that the governor authorised that all illegal structures and shanties within the Enyimba Hotel, be demolished to ensure the recovery of the Hotel.

Represented, by Emma Ogbuehi, a retired assistant commandant, said that aside from the soon-to-be-recovered Enyimba Hotel, reducing the activities of all criminal elements in the area to the bearest minimum is also a major reason for the demolition around the Aba River.

He explained that despite the fact that the demolition excercise was a one-off thing, the joint security team would sustain security in the area, to ensure that the criminal elements do not return to the area.

Ogbuehi, explained that the Enyimba Hotel and its environs were originally designed to be a tourist centre, with the river banks expected to form something in the mode of a beach, where recreational activities were expected to take place.

He explained that the demolition exercise was not an impromptu one, noting that the illegal.occupants were given enough notice to remove their belongings prior to the demolition.

Ogbuehi assured that efforts were in top gear to ensure that Abia continue to enjoy the peace it has been known for, as such efforts would always be intensified, to ensure that all residents and visitors to the city, enjoy a peaceful and serene environment.