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Delta Capital Wears New Look As Taskforce Embarks On Massive Demolition

... As Newspaper Vendors Laments Destruction Of Properties
By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba

Asaba, the capital of Delta state which used to be the dirtiest in Nigeria, is currently competing with other state capitals in the country in terms of environmental cleanliness.

A Special Taskforce on environment which started aggressive mobbing up of makeshift structures in the last three days has also cleared the vicinity of waste dumps especially on the medians on the popular Nnebisi road.

The Taskforce which consists of the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Ehiedu Aniagwu, the Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Chris Onogba, the Director-General, Delta state Capital Territory Development Agency, Mrs. Onyeamechi Mrakpor, chairman, Delta State Waste Management Board, Mr. Emma Chinye and Director-General, State Bureau of Orientation, Mr. Eugene Uzum, stormed business premises cleaning up the mess.

Meanwhile, as the demolition exercise continues, newspaper vendors in Asaba have decried the destruction of their platforms by the taskforce.

The vendors lamented that the tables which serve as platforms for displaying newspapers in strategic parts of the capital city were being destroyed.

Briefing the press last week, the taskforce said adequate sensitization had be done including strategic meeting with stakeholders and public enlightenment campaigns.

It claimed that a 21-day ultimatum was issued to landlords, operators of business premises to keep their surroundings clean and remove all objects or shanties considered to be offensive to the environment.

According to Mrs. Mrakpor, at the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum, a demand notice of seven days was issued to all concerned stakeholders, adding that it was at the expiration of the seven-day demand notice that the clean up started.

One of the vendors whose platform was destroyed said though the demand notice was issued, there was no specification on the platform that they are expected to provide to remain in business.

The newspaper vendor said "with what is going on in Asaba now where they destroying our tables, I don't think we will continue to sell the papers because there is no place for us to shade them."

While saying that the newspaper distributors have already written formal letter of complaints to the relevant authorities, he appealed to the state government to provide the specification on the kind of platform needed for the business, and give them time to provide it.