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Widow Develops High Blood Pressure Over Threat To Demolish House

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba

A 69-year-old widow, Mrs. Alice Edward has purportedly develped High Blood Pressure (BP), following alleged plans by a land committee to demolish her building.

The building located at Idumuebor quarters of Owa-Alero community of Ika north east local government area of Delta State has been marked to be pulled down.

It was gathered that the committee has perfected plans of pulling down the home of the widow while on a mission to provide land for a proposed government tertiary institution in the community.

It was reliably learnt that the land in contest which already has separate buildings of a two complete flats, a duplex and security house, was acquired by one of the widow's sons, Mr. Okorie Edward, who lives outside the country.

When The Nigerian Voice, visited the place for a first hand information, the widow was found laying helplessly on a bench following her alleged health condition which deteriorated over the threat to demolish her house.

In a chat with the building engineer, Mr. Simeon Mezim, he expressed displeasure over what he described as nonchalant attitude of the group which had already demolished some buildings inside the marked portion of the land for the proposed institution.

He said, bringing an institution into the community would be a welcome development, but going about to forcefully displace people of their properties was not tenable, revealing that the committee did not do proper consultation with landlords and other property owners before embarking on the demolition exercise and clearing of the side of the measured land.

His words: "We only heard from speculations that government wants to convert the community secondary school, Alero Secondary School, into to a tertiary institution and as such would require more land from behind the parameter fenced school. But before we could understand what was happening properly, a sect of people who pose as the community land committee, brought a bulldozer to start clearing round people's farm land and houses with impunity for the proposed institution.

"One of the committee members popularly known as Diza and son to the former Ward II Chairman of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Ika north east, came and drove my workers out, threatening before the old woman that they are coming to demolish the two buildings in the said land."

It was learnt that after the threat, the widow developed high blood pressure, particularly on hearing sounds of the bulldozer clearing within her premises. It was gathered that the threat to demolish the widow's house allegedly worsen her health condition as she suffers arthritis.

In a telephone chat with the son of the Mrs. Edward, Mr. Edward Okorie, he confirmed that the land which he bought in 2013 was properly registered with the community while the building plans and survey were approved by the state government in Asaba, asking that how did the land in question now becomes government land.

He said he bought the land to give his mother a good home haven suffered humiliation from co-tenants, adding that he was shocked to hear that the community are at the verge of demolishing the properties he has spent fortune to put on ground.

"Now the unfortunate development is that, we now battle with the life of my dear mother whom I have to send a medical doctor to treat at home almost everyday.

"At this juncture, I wish to make it known to the public that should anything happen to my mother, Diza and the rest of his committee members would held responsible.

"I am appealing to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to savage the oppression perpetrated by the land committee of his community, also calling on the federal government and other international and national human right organizations to come to my mother's rescue," Mr. Edward asserted.

As at the time of filing this report, the suspected land committee has cleared the front of the old woman's building with their bulldozer and also barricaded the entrance of the building with the heap of sands, leaving her trapped inside the compound and unable to get her medical care.

Also attempt to speak with the committee was unsuccessful as their whereabout was unknown.

Contacted the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu, said he was not aware, "I am not aware, I am just hearing it", he said in a phone conversation.