Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Baraza Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Miebi Bribena, has reacted to the notice of demolition served his organization by the Bayelsa State Physical Planning and Development Board.
The agency had in the notice dated October 21, 2021, given Baraza a 14-day ultimatum to demolish the driveway/parking lot at its corporate headquarters, saying the structure is within the right-of-way of that axis of the state capital and causing nuisance to the environment.
But in his reaction, Bribena dismissed the claims by the Board, explaining that the building followed all due processes for all neccessary approvals for the construction of the car park.
He stated that the approval he obtained before embarking on the construction includes approval for designs, construction and completion, stressing that he has not contravened the Bayelsa Physical Planning Act that will warrant the demolition of the structure.
Bribena said: “Firstly I am an Architect and not just a businessman so I am not blind to regulations
“Secondly the Bayelsa Physical Planning Act encourages multilevel car parks and we should be commended for solving the traffic challenge at Otiotio Junction.
“Our property is one of the few properties that cars can conveniently park on the shoulder of the road without obstructing any traffic whatsoever.
“Thirdly we followed all due processes for approval and got all neccessary approvals for that car park, including approval for designs, construction and completion so we have not contravened the Bayelsa Phisical Planning Act.
“Fourthly if you stand at Otiotio Junction facing Melford Okilo Expressway, our property has transparent metal fence so what Right of Way is it blocking? Why is the Physical Planning Board turning their eyes away from the problem area of that Junction which is the opposite side of that road?
“Its the car park they are talking about.
What obstruction is the car park causing?
“Since Physical Planning Act allows multi level car parks and encourages it, which side of the junction poses danger to traffic? My side or the opposite side?
“There are similar modern structures in other parts of the world. What’s the obstruction of right of way? What is the vested interest of the Chairman of the Physical Planning Board?” he asked.
Recently the Bliss Emporium that houses the corporate headquarters of Baraza was sealed off by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), based on petitions submitted to the anti-graft agency by some angry investors whose funds are trapped in the organization.