Abia State Government at the weekend sealed some unapproved buildings located inside a secondary school in Aba and in some other areas of the commercial city.
The sealing of the buildings located at All Saints Secondary School, Ogbor Hill, Aba, and other areas of the city, was carried out in an exercise supervised by the Town Planning Authorities of Aba South, Aba North, Osisioma Ngwa, Obi Ngwa and Ugwunagbo Local Government Areas.
The team inspected defective buildings at the Ekeoha Market (Shopping Centre) where they ordered they should be demolished; as well as unapproved structures at Samek Market near Ariaria International Market.
Addressing newsmen after the exercise, the Special Adviser to Governor Alex Otti on Aba Urban Rejuvenation, Uche Ukeje said the governor in keeping with his campaign promise of restoring the past glory of Aba, has decided that the era of doing things outside laid down rules was over.Ukeje, who frowned at how estates were springing up in some public schools said some years back, the government of Abia State decided to borrow a leaf from what happened in a neighbouring state to hand over schools to missionaries or those it referred to as the original owners.
He regretted that in the process, things were inappropriately done and the handover process was not completed.
“The Government of Peter Obi handed schools over to the missionaries, because the Government lacked the capacity to fund education then and they’ve all become sound citadels of learning. The then Government of Abia State decided to follow suit with that and handed some schools over to those they referred to as the original owners of the schools.
“When the Government of Okezie Ikpeazu came in, leaning on previous experience, continued with it, but there was a problem. Instead of handing over the schools to established institutions, and established churches that have both the capacity and the goodwill and the experience to manage the schools, they handed them over to those who could not manage them.
“On the other hand, some of these schools were handed over to the people that never really owned them. The process of handover based on some understanding that those people were supposed to run the schools better, shows that they were issued with provisional certificates of handover. The final certificate was not issued to them,” he added.
The SA to the governor said it was unfortunate that the aim of handing over such schools was largely defeated, adding that “Those people did not go in there to run schools. They went in there and started selling land. The final certificate of handover was never issued as the process was never concluded.”
He said Government was going to recover any landed property of public schools bought by individuals.
Ukeje however said that based on the perceived anomaly, government cannot do anything now until it gets recommendation from the Ministry of Education.
He disclosed that Abia Government under the leadership of Otti plans to recover and transform Aba, the commercial hub of the state into a modern city, promising that would not be done irrationally, but would follow due process. (The Sun)