Anambra council seals motor park over refuse dump

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The officials of the Onitsha South Local Government Area, Anambra State on Thursday sealed off a motor park located inside the National Inland Water Ways Authority, River Niger Bridgehead, Onitsha over heaps of refuse dump.

The sealing created some tension around the area as the council officials forcefully dragged out all the passengers and their luggages from commercial vehicles loading inside the park, as well as the operators and workers at the park.

They stormed the park and immediately started pasting court orders they claimed was obtained from an Onitsha Magistrate Court and also a sealing order from the state environmental
department.

The exercise, which started at about 3pm, was personally supervised by the Chairman of Onitsha South Local Government Transition Committee, Mr. Emeka Orji.

Orji told journalists at the scene that he personally came to the park about six weeks ago to advice the park operators to evacuate the refuse heaps, but they did not heed the advice.

He said each time the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo passed through the area, he would call him to ask why he allowed such huge dumps of refuse to be cited within the environment.

Orji said, “The letters we sent to the park owners about two weeks ago and a reminder were rebuffed, leaving us with no other option than to go to the court of competent jurisdiction to obtain an order to seal the park for causing environmental hazards to the general public.”

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As the officials were carrying out the sealing, the park operator, Ngozi Okpagu, quickly rushed to the scene but could no longer gain entrance into the park because the gate had been sealed off.

Okpagu claimed that he did not respond to the earlier notices of the officials to evacuate the refuse dumps because he had a motor accident which fractured his leg and he had been at the hospital for some time now.

He, therefore, pleaded with the council officials, but the council boss told him that it was too late to reverse the court order since he could not instruct his manager to clear the refuse dump, neither could he make a direct phone call to the local council authorities, while in the hospital.

“We offered to assist the park operators with two trucks to help them in evacuating the refuse dump but they could not utilise such an opportunity to avert this type of situation till this moment. Now, it is too late to cry when the horse has bolted out,” Orji added.

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