The demolition of 65 houses at Ogwuma, Afikpo South Local Government Area of Ebonyi, has been directed by Governor David Umahi on Saturday, following a landslide recorded in the area in July.
Umahi gave the directive while addressing people of the area, noting that the affected inhabitants would be resettled immediately.
He said the resettlement was needed to save lives and prevent more landslides.
The landslide occurred at the retaining wall of Ogwuma community, blocked access to neighbouring communities and a section of the road leading to Ohafia in Abia.
Landslides had been devastating the community since 2004.
The July landslide was said to have resulted from illegal activities of inhabitants across the retaining wall, impacting negatively on the land.
Speaking when he visited the landslide site in July, Gov. Umahi announced plans to clear the road to enable the government to know the best next line of action.
He blamed the communities for carrying out illegal activities on the land.
The governor hinted that all those living across the retaining wall would have to be evacuated for the wall to be reconstructed to stand the test of time.
On Saturday, he said: “there is nothing else we can do to save the lives of our people as the affected inhabitants would be supported within the limits of our resources.
“We need a small estate to resettle them but also to be our brothers’ keepers in accommodating those affected.
“Landslide is very dangerous as it gulps a lot of money to remedy.’’
Gov. Umahi said that work on the affected area would begin on Aug.15 as the people would indicate where the affected persons would be resettled.
“This is because their continued stay within the affected area will put their lives at risk and cause more slides,’’ he said.
Gov. Umahi thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his immediate approval for Federal Government’s intervention and appealed for understanding by residents of the area.
“I commend the council’s chairman and other stakeholders for the remedial work on the affected area and urge them to intensify efforts to ameliorate the situation,’’ he said.
Chairman of the council, Chief Eni Chima, thanked the governor for his quick intervention, noting that he had always shown concern for peoples’ welfare.
“We assure the governor of our cooperation in ensuring that all measures geared towards checking the situation are implemented,’’ he said.
Residents also thanked the governor for his proactive measures and pledged their continued support for his administration.
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