INSECURITY has become a nation-wide issue and it is incumbent on the national and sub-national governments to go and plug all identified loopholes to curtail the heightening menace. Due to lapses in urban planning and land allocation, the approved masterplans that would ensure orderliness in the sub-urban and urban towns have been mindlessly distorted due to itching palms of unscrupulous officials.
FOR selfish reasons, land grabbers with the connivance of corrupt officials of state encourage their allies to create structures and shanties in unauthorised parts of communities and cities which in the long run, trigger environmental disaster and defacing of the landscape. In addition to the grabbing propensity, areas that were mapped out for parks and mini-markets which in more sane societies would serve as leisure places and convenience centres for shopping are illegally sold off.
IN MOST parts of the country like the South-East, yearly rains cause land slide, massive flooding and disastrous erosion menace. This phenomenon has caused environmental havoc of unimaginable magnitude which most states and federal government have not been able to tackle. This has necessitated passionate appeals to international donor agencies for financial assistance and even loans to tackle and contend with the regular environmental degradation.
AN EYESORE that is noticeable across all states of Nigeria is clusters of decrepit structures, colonies of shanties and ghettos that offer hideouts for hoodlums and for anti-social elements like thieves, junkies, drug barons, touts and armed bandits who use the places as abode from where they perpetrate their heinous gambits.
STATES like Anambra that battle the most devastating form of flooding and erosion yearly as a result of the existence of such illegal structures have some erosion sites claiming lives as a result of developments like this.
IT IS in the light of this that the ire of the Anambra State Government has been kindled to ensure the removal of such illegal structures while urging recalcitrant builders of such structures not to rebuild them else they be taken with the additional step of taking the owners to court to serve as deterrent. In carrying out the action, it is believed that the anti-social elements and hoodlums hibernating in the shanties and ghettos will be flushed to compel them to look for reasonable means of livelihood.
DEMOLITION of shanties and illegal structures will equally help in maintaining clean and healthy environment.
WE URGE the state government not to go back in laudable direction. Morever, the illegal structures deface the state. Even if it will entail organising workshops to re-orientate the officials of the relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to follow up the current action, this should be done. This measure will complement the efforts of law enforcement agencies in their duties to contain the menace of hoodlums and social miscreants who make life unbearable for the masses in areas around the ghettos.