Awka City Project: No Going Back In Giving Anambra Facelift.

The Managing Director of Awka Capital Territory Development Authority (ACTDA), Mr. Osita Onuko, has said there was no going back on the policy to give Anambra a healthy, environmentally friendly and befitting capital city. Onuko said this while reacting to the outcry over the demolition of shanties and business sites standing on roads, walkways and unapproved locations within the capital city. He said his agency had carried out sufficient sensitization and issued repeated warnings to the traders to vacate unapproved locations to no avail, adding that the loss to the affected persons was unavoidable.

He said conducting commercial activities on the road, drainage and walkways remained illegal and warned that those still engaging in the act may have a day with government. “We have had sensitization campaigns, stakeholders’ engagement and advocacy on why people who display wares on the roads, those who trade on walkways in Awka Capital Territory should leave those places, but it has been a running battle. “We understand the narrative that the economy is bad, people are struggling to survive but we have to sanitize the environment, where there is government, we have to ensure there is law and order.”

There are places meant for trading, government cannot go into a market and start demolishing it, so we are saying that abuse of our environment is not acceptable for the dignity of our state and safety of our people,” he said. Onuko said the government of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo under his agency would not be distracted by the attempt by the opposition to politicize the urban renewal exercise with the intention to blackmail it.

He called on the people to bear with government and understand that it meant the best for them as a responsible government would for its citizens. On the insinuation that he was doing his job without human face, Onuko said he was leading a crusade for radical but positive transformation that would upset the status quo. “That is not who I am, I am working for overriding public interest, the backlash is not unexpected, but we will not be distracted,” he said.

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