Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has ordered demolition of a shanties where counterfeit bottled water, carbonated soft drinks and alcholic beverages are produced at Nkpogu, Port Harcourt.
He said the State government would acquire the land as the shanties were also known to be used by criminals for other nefarious activities.
The governor told journalists during a visit to Nkpogu, yesterday, that he had received credible intelligence report that some criminal network involved in counterfeiting of bottled water, carbonated soft drinks and alcholic beverages were operating in the area.
The governor asserted that no government that is very responsible and responsive, would allow illicit production of counterfeit bottled water and drinks to take place within its jurisdiction.
Governor Wike noted that several unsuspecting persons had been afflicted with deadly diseases after innocently purchasing fake products produced by the miscreants operating from the Nkpogu shanties.
He said: “If you look at the area where we are, it is criminal hideout and I will not waste time immediately to demolish the area. In fact, this will take place in the next two days.
The governor, who bemoaned the unhygienic environment littered with refuse and bagged used water and carbonated soft drink bottles, said his administration will not relent to rid Port Harcourt and its environs of shanties.
He stated: “I cannot believe that people can turn the whole Port Harcourt to a cabbage city instead of a Garden City. It is unacceptable to me. Like I have always said, no decision you take will be favourable to everybody. But, as far as we are concern, one will take the right decision and the right thing must be done. We are going to clear all these shanties.
“Port Harcourt is known to be a Garden City not a cabbage city and for anybody to tell me that I will be governor and see this kind of thing happen inside Port Harcourt metropolis, it’s unacceptable to me. Government is taking over this place.”
He maintained that his administration will not relent in ridding the state of every traceable hideout for criminals.
According to him, the recent demolition carried by government has helped to reduce the level of crime in the State.
“We will continue to do this and that is all I owe the people of the state and the business community.”
Governor Wike, who had earlier inspected ongoing work at both the Orochiri/Wurukwo and Nkpolu -Oroworukwo flyovers, explained that decision to make some correction and amendments was reached between the State government and the contractors, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc.