The government of Abia State has called on residents of the state to desist from harassing, intimidating and arresting the state Urban Planning Authority personnel who visit building sites to monitor compliance with guidelines.
The state Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Planning, Dr Chidi Onwuchuruba, gave the warning at a meeting with UN Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) Team in Aba on Friday.
Addressing building professionals, Onwuchuruba said that some of them joined property owners to disrupt urban planning rules.
“People building should find a better place and build according to the rules.
“Whenever you see them (Urban Planning Authority personnel), they are probably checking on compliance with the rules; so, don’t arrest or harass them.
“By year 2000, the then Governor Orji Uzor Kalu, being an Aba boy, set up a committee to see how to sanitise the city.
“The committee, which I was part of, reported that 1, 500 buildings needed to be knocked down but he was unable to implement it.
“By 2009, during the tenure of Theodore Orji, he set up another committee to review the state of building developments in Aba.
“The committee Orji set up reported that a whopping number, 4,500 buildings, needed to be knocked down in Aba. Orji could not implement it.
“One day, a governor, who will have the willpower to implement such a report will knock down up to 10,000 buildings in Aba,” the official said.
He urged property developers and other Abia residents to support town planning activities for the benefit of all. (NAN).