The Edo State Government has sensitised owners of buildings and other structures under high tension electricity cables in the state on the health risks.
Speaking during a meeting with the property owners at Idogbo Secretariat in Ikpoba–Okha Local Government Area, the Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Political and Community Matters, Chief Osaro Idah, said the state government was worried that people could ignore the risks associated with living in such area.
Chief Idah said the removal of the buildings was necessary because of the inherent dangers of living under the transmission lines, such as cancerous radiations, among others.
He emphasised that the state was determined to avoid casualties and a repeat of the infamous electrocution incident in Calabar, where lives were lost when a transmission cable fell on a football-viewing centre.
“We have a habit of saying, it will not happen, God forbid. But, government will not wait to see our people die before it acts. Relocation is non-negotiable; we want to ensure that people get a fair deal when it is done,” he said.
Chief Idah appealed for understanding from those that would be affected, as government was determined to ensure that the discomfort would be minimal.
He said that, as far as they have evidence of their correspondence with TCN, wherein they sought compensation, the state would ensure that they are duly compensated.
He said: “We will use these papers to make a case for everybody. However, note that it is not the state government that will pay compensation, but the TCN.”
Earlier, Head of Local Government Administration, Ikpoba–Okha Local Government Area, Mr. Peter Ahonhai, said the stakeholders meeting was called on the instance of Governor Godwin Obaseki to proffer solution to concerns of those affected by the governor’s directive that those living under transmission lines across the seven wards in the council be relocated.
The owners of the properties were asked to submit evidence of their correspondence with the TCN to Ikpoba–Okha Head of Local government administration, as the state government would follow it up.
Chief Idah, who was accompanied by Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Hon. Edorodion Erimona, also visited Oredo and Egor local council areas.