Delta State Government on Tuesday warned the Arewa community not to oppose plans to redevelop the Cable Point, a slum in the state capital mostly inhabited by migrant Hausa/Fulani.
Arewa community had allegedly threatened to resist any attempt by the state government to demolish residential buildings, mosques and historical sites to pave way for the infrastructural transformation of the area.
Their threat followed the marking of houses apparently for demolition by Roxwood Nigeria Limited, a private developer working on behalf of the Delta State Capital Development Agency (DSCDA).
Besides, Managing Director of the firm, Chief Johnson Ukpaka alleged that not only that his life was under threat but his staff working on the project were no longer safe as threat messages of kidnap were received.
However, at a peace meeting with the Arewa community in Asaba, Director General of DSCDA, Chief Clement Ofuani warned them not to oppose government’s drive to redevelop the slum and that their opposition to redevelopment is wrong while their threat cannot hold water.
He said that nobody should give the development any ethnic slant as if it is targeted at a particular tribe and religion, revealing that there are Igbo, Igala, Hausa, Yoruba living at Cable Point and none of them that owns land there bought it in the name of their tribe or ethnic nationality.
“It is a very wrong step to take and that nobody should tell the state government that a slum should remain a slum in the capital city of a state in this country. You can’t have such in Abuja and anywhere else and be happy about it. What we should be saying is how our businesses and houses can be protected,” he said.
Ofuani who expressed displeasure for creating unnecessary tension in Asaba over the rumored plans that DSCDA has concluded plans to destroy Hausa quarters at Cable Point Area, said that the state government is not on any compulsory acquisition of land within Asaba.
While revealing that the state government will continue to encourage private sector developers to do their commercial transactions, he said historical sites will be protected to become tourist attractions.
Seriki of Arewa community, Babajero Ibrahim had alleged that the private developer was causing problems between them, Asaba community and the state government.
Speaking through Alhaji lbrahim Lawal, he said tempers rose when houses, mosques, cemeteries and others were marked for demolitions, warning that the process must stop