Rivers governor Nyesom Wike says the ongoing demolition of some market shanties and sanctuaries is borne out of the compelling need to reduce crimes and safeguard lives and properties in the state.
The governor, while explaining the need to rid the state of all shanties, said criminals were using shanties as hideouts after committing crimes.
“We wish to reiterate that the ongoing demolition of shanties was borne out of the compelling need to safeguard lives and property across the State,” Mr Wike in a statewide broadcast on Monday said.
“Our objective, which is gradually achieving is to deny the criminals these sanctuaries and hideouts from which they embark on their criminal activities and safely return to,” he added.
Mr Wike said his administration will not be fazed by blackmail fuelled by ethnic and religious sentiments.
“We therefore refuse to be blackmailed by those unpatriotic elements who are trying to stir false ethnic, religious or tribal sentiments around our patriotic commitment to advance the safety and security of residents,” Mr Wike added.
The Rivers State Government in August ordered the demolition of shanties in Port Harcourt.
On Thursday, Peoples Gazette reported that the state government commenced the demolition of the popular Trans-Amadi/Oginigba Slaughter Market in Port Harcourt.
The Trans-Amadi slaughter market has long been described as the biggest abattoir with dozens of people from far and near, patronising butchers in the market.
The demolition of the market has attracted criticisms from northerners who are the major stakeholders in the market. Many of them told The Gazette that they were being targeted for political reasons.