From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Illegal structures where alcoholic beverages are being sold at the Delta State Civil Service Secretariat in Asaba have be demolished by the state government.
The chairman of the state Task Force on Environment, Sylvester Oromoni, who supervised the demolition of the shanties, caravans and other unapproved makeshift structures within the secretariat, said the places where fast becoming den of criminals.
He said some of the beer parlours turned the premises into night clubs, adding that a civil servant was stabbed to death last year during odd hours.
‘They (vendors) turned the place into night clubs, and at night, people will converge here until dawn, and in the process, somebody died.
‘The essence of this demolition, in part, is to rid the place of criminal elements and also forbid such things as alcohol from being sold or consumed in the work place,’ Oromoni said.
According to him, touts turned the place to their residence where they smoke and consume all sorts of liquor.
‘Having drawn the attention of the government, the Ministry of Housing came in and requested for sometime to mark the approved structures so that those not approved had to give way.
‘Since last year, we have be on this exercise, and by December, we secured approval to demolish.
‘However, I extended the grace for owners of affected structures to remove their belongings.
‘Last month, the commissioner insisted on knowing the cause for the delay. We were given a list of 50 approved stores, and outside them, every structure marked “unapproved” is being brought down.’
Oromoni insisted that it was made clear to vendors that alcohol must not be sold within the premises of the secretariat, adding that before the demolition, the vendors were invited for a meeting.