The Bayelsa State Government has frowned at the alleged demolition of its properties and eviction of its workers by the Rivers State Government.
It cited that as sister states, issues between the states can be amicably resolved without recourse to demolition of the properties at Number 5 and 9 Akassa Street, Old GRA, Port Harcourt.
According to Bayelsa State Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Andrew Esua, both governors had discussed in 2021 when the Rivers State Government first served the Bayelsa State Government the notice for immediate renovation of the property and other subsequent notifications.
“I set my people in motion again to move straight and then ensure that our officers in the properties are safe so that we can maybe get alternative areas while we take some legal steps.
“Our people are actually safe, some of their properties are actually outside as you can see. Today, they sent me a clip that demolition has commenced.
“Some of the roofs have already been deroofed, the main buildings, you can see cracks in the main buildings, the bulldozer is there. So, definitely, even their lives are no longer safe,” Esua said.
He lamented that the demolition of the properties should not have occurred as both states are sister states and have a long history of cordial relations, adding that this could be amicably resolved without recourse to demolition.
“Now, Rivers and Bayelsa, we are two sister states. And no matter the situation, if ordinarily, properties belonging to the Bayelsa State government are defacing the scenery of old GRA, I expect the Rivers State government to follow a diplomatic step to resolve the issue.”
The commissioner affirmed the intent of the Bayelsa State Government to renovate the properties, adding that the planning for Governor Douye Diri’s father’s burial stalled the process of renovating the properties.
He decried the “drastic action” by the Rivers State government, adding that Bayelsa was capable of renovating the properties in a few week time.
“I see no reason why this very sharp drastic action is taken by the governor of Rivers State. The Benue state government is capable, the renovation can be done within the next one, or two weeks, that is quite certain,” he said.
The commissioner stated that the Bayelsa government is ready to dialogue to ensure that there is peace.