In response to the Abia State government’s recent announcement of impending demolitions for the Ossah-Okpara Square Road expansion project, some affected property owners have taken proactive steps by beginning to remove their belongings.
Their intention is to avoid the surprise arrival of government bulldozers.
During a town hall meeting with affected individuals from Ossah Ibeku, Ohuhu villages, and other claimants, the State Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Chaka Chukwumerije, informed them that Governor Alex Otti had approved full compensation payments for them. He mentioned that these payments started over the weekend and clarified that demolitions would only begin after property owners had received their compensation in their bank accounts.
Chukwumerije also used the town hall meeting to inform the affected parties that approximately 130 buildings would be affected by the road expansion project. He assured them that only the buildings marked by the Abia State Ministry of Works would be demolished, and this would occur after the property owners had been compensated.
In response to requests from some occupants for an extension to relocate, the Commissioner explained that they had already been granted a six-week relocation period, and there might not be any further extensions. However, he did not specify the exact date when the demolitions would commence.
A visit to the Okigwe park area in Ossah, near Abia Tower junction, on Monday revealed that more than 15 buildings had their roofs and iron doors removed by their owners. Some property owners were also observed overseeing the removal of their belongings in preparation for the anticipated demolitions. It remains unconfirmed whether these property owners have already received their compensation payments, as one Ossah resident indicated that payment details are confidential between them and the State government.