By Ikhili Monday EBALU, Benin city
Edo state government on Wednesday night pulled down a 150 shop store along mission road Benin city, by the ring road junction, belonging to chief Osamede Adun , the Ayobahan of Benin kingdom, and owner of Bob Izua Motors.
The state government has since last month commences enforcement of town planning law around the ring road area, by clearing street traders and bus drivers from around the king Square.
Chief Osamede Adun told journalists in Benin City that he bought the land genuinely and the same time got approval from the State Ministry of Land and Survey.
According to him, “I genuinely applied to the government and they approved my application before I embark on the building of the stores”
“I am baffled that they went to o pulled down the building 12 mid night. My son wanted to try and remove some of the properties that were inside the house, worth millions of naira, but he was arrested and is still being detained.”
Adun said, “I submmited all the documents as regards the building to the government and they agreed that I should give 25metres distant from the road, which I was about to carry out before the demolition.”
Meanwhile, some traders numbering over 200 said they are devastated as they paid over two hundred and fifty thousand each to rent the uncompleted stores. They appealed to the government to come to their aid as they have nothing to fall back to.
However, the Government of Edo state has declared its commitment to enforcing all physical and town planning laws in the state to restore integrity to the environment’s master plan, it was learnt on Thursday.
A statement endorsed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. John Mayaki said, “There are town planning rules and laws in the state, and nobody is bigger than the law. So, for the development of Edo state and to upgrade the people’s standard of living, there should be full compliance from everyone to the law”.
On the issue of the chief Osamede Adun building recently demolished along Mission Road, which had about 150 shops, the Governor’s media aide said, “The structure, for which the owner sought the government’s approval, was at variance with what was erected. In other words, the structure which was built was in contravention of what was approved”.
“Before the demolition, notices were served, which have since expired. And, as you may as well be aware, nobody is above the law, neither is anyone’s interest bigger than the public’s interest.
He continued that no parking space was provided for owners of the would-be shops at the property, as well as there was no parking space for those who would go there to shop.
The property, he explained, was being constructed at the heart of the city and shoppers and shop owners would have had to park by the roadside, which could stifle traffic and cause congestion on the roads.
“In specific terms, Mayaki revealed, “the plan, for which the owner sought approval, provided for 30 shops with adequate allowances for space and internal staircases, but what Edo people later discovered was a structure with 150 shops and external staircases, just as there were no provision for parking”.
The structure therefore constituted a breach on the property and to all known town planning laws and even to the plan, which was submitted for approval.
The governor’s CPS also stressed that one person could not create a crisis to disturb other people, adding that the building would have inconvenienced many people.
Meanwhile, the land would remain the owner’s property but the property erected on it should not aggravate the very crisis, which the government was avoiding at the Kingsquare, also called Ring Road.
“I am also glad to report to you that the government exists for the good and interest of the public and that is the interest the administration of Governor Godwin Obaseki is serving. The public is even happier that the government is creating the right of way for them,” he further explained.