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Opinion: WIKE AND THE DEMOLITION OF HOTELS IN RIVER STATE

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Before we start picking quarrels due to our sentimental disposition to the issues under review, it is advisable to carefully cross check the fact underlying the action of the River state governor: His Excellency Nyesom Wike regarding the demolition of hotels in Elleme area of the state capital.
It is pertinent to note that the challenges post by the act of kidnapping and other forms of social vices has propelled states government to initiate laws that allowed for the demolition of buildings suspected to be hideout for some criminal elements and their cohorts.
Permit me to take you through the memory lane as we reflect once more on the widely publicised OTOKOTO era. In the mid ’90s, 1996 to be precise there was a group of notorious ritual killers in Imo state called the Otokoto.
A member of that gang had built and operated a particular hotel in Owerri metropolis where so many unsuspecting innocent travellers were being slaughtered like animals and their body parts used for rituals. Once a guest lodge in the hotel, they come in the middle of the night and kill the guest. This act went on for a very long time before the Judas in the midst of the disciples decidef to let the cat out of the bag.
The day a team of police men layed seige at the hotel, what they saw, that is the number of corpses found in the hotel dazzled Nigerians. It was upon this discovery and the subsequent arrest of the perpetrators that the then military administrator of Imo state decided to bring down the said hotel. During investigation, one of the culprits admitted by his confession to the effect that they have been into the heinous crime of killing people in that hotel for a long time.
Since then, governments have been compel by these circumstances to make laws which empowered the authorities to destroy any place that is perceived to be a save haven for mischief makers.
To come back to the issues of Rivers State, it is reported that before the government decide to pull down Princewill’s hotel and subsequently declared him wanted, the government had earlier send a warning notice to him to discourage him from the continued operation of the place in line with the COVID-19 order but he snubbed.
So to douse your doubt, the following were the reasons why the hotel was demolished:
– that the hotel is a den of criminals and venue for cult related activities
– that the said hotel host prostitutes who take in customers even during the lockdown
– that the proprietor was earlier advised to shut down until the pandemic was abated but he chooses to ditch out threat to the government that he would bring down the government if he is disrupted
– that he chased away the COVID-19 team that was dispatched to visit hotel and to further encourage the owner to stop the illegal activities going on in the hotel
– that the proprietor is an unrepentant oil thief and gunrunner who has been sponsoring criminal activities around the area.
The aforementioned underscore the reason for the jubilation in the neighborhood when the said hotel was eventually demolished by the state government to serve as a deterrent to others who are in the act of violating government orders.
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