Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has ordered the demolition of shanties at the Nkpogu area of Port Harcourt Metropolis where counterfeit bottled water, carbonated soft drinks and acholic beverages are produced.
He said the state government would acquire the land as the shanties were also known to be used by criminals for other nefarious activities.
Wike announced the order to journalists during a visit to Nkpogu, on Sunday, saying that he had received a credible intelligence report that some criminal network involved in the counterfeiting of bottled water, carbonated soft drinks and acholic beverages were operating in the area.
He asserted that no government that is responsible and responsive, would allow illicit production of counterfeit bottled water and drinks to take place within its jurisdiction.
The governor noted that several unsuspecting persons have been afflicted with deadly diseases after innocently purchasing fake products produced by the miscreants operating from the Nkpogu shanties.
“If you look at the area where we are, it is a criminal hideout and I will not waste time immediately to demolish the area. In fact, this will take place in the next two days.”
The governor, who bemoaned the unhygienic environment littered with refuse and bagged used water and carbonated soft drink bottles, said his administration will not relent to rid Port Harcourt and its environs of shanties.
“I cannot believe that people can turn the whole Port Harcourt to a cabbage city instead of a Garden City. It is unacceptable to me. Like I have always said no decision you take will be favourable to everybody.
“But as far as we are concerned, one will take the right decision and the right thing must be done. We are going to clear all these shanties.
“Port Harcourt is known to be a Garden City, not a cabbage city and for anybody to tell me that I will be governor and see this kind of thing happen inside Port Harcourt metropolis, it’s unacceptable to me. Government is taking over this place.”
He maintained that his administration will not relent in ridding the state of every traceable hideout for criminals.
According to him, the recent demolition carried by the government has helped to reduce the level of crime in the State.
“We will continue to do this and that is all I owe the people of the state and the business community.”
Credit: Nigeria Tribune