Don't Measure Your Strength by the Amount of Pain Inflicted on People - Nsuke Tell RSG

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The Publicity Secretary of The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has called on the Rivers State government to act with a human heart in the discharge of its duties. Nsuke made the call in reaction to the 21-day ultimatum issued to residents of Ahiamakara Water Front in Ogbunabali, majority of whom are Ogonis, to quit the area or face forceful eviction.

The MOSOP Spokesman said the Rivers State Government should not think of itself as weak by being patient and understanding the condition of poor waterfront residents. He said the government should also not show its strength in the pain of these poor people.

Nsuke said government should be concerned about the welfare of the people and therefore it is morally questionable for government to forcefully evict citizens from the homes they have occupied for over 50 years with a 21 day notice to quit and without providing an alternative dwelling place and without compensation for them for a land they reclaimed with their bare hands.

The MOSOP spokesman said government's claim and assurance of compensation after the eviction cannot help the residents find alternative homes noting that an alternative should be settled and they should be adequately compensated and resettled before their homes will be destroyed.

"The place government is looking at today called Ahiamakara Water Front in Ogbunabali never existed until these very poor people who could not afford accommodation costs within the city started reclaiming the land manually and overtime turned it into a residential area that has now drawn the attention of government. This process has taken over 50 years and if the government wants to evict the residents, they should be given sufficient time and an alternative as well as being compensated so that they can easily find alternatives. Forcefully evicting them is very traumatizing and will impact seriously on their lives and families and government does not exist to cause such pain" he said.

The Special Adviser to the Rivers State Governor on lands Anugbum Onuoha has said The Rivers State Government will not back down on the 21-day ultimatum issued to residents of Ahiamakara Water Front in Ogbunabali to quit the area or face forceful eviction. Onuoha said the government had acquired the said land and is ready for reclamation and construction. He stated further that the quit notice to Ahiamakara Water Front residents in Ogbunabali commenced in June 17th and would expire yesterday, July 7, 2017. Residents say they are yet to be compensated for the land and no alternative have been provided for them and their families.

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