Why we recovered Liberty Estate Centre, by Enugu govt
The Enugu State Government has said that it decided to recover the highbrow Liberty Estate Centre, following outcries from the residents of its abuse, distortions and neglect of the purpose for its establishment.
Managing Director, Enugu State House Corporation, Chiemelie Agu, stated that the centre remained the property of the corporation and had been administered by it since the estate was set up.
He added that occupants at the centre remained tenants of the corporation until last two years when the corporation issued quit notices to them to vacate the place, following complaints about certain nefarious activities that defeated the objective of the prime estate.
He insisted that the centre was not sold to any private developer, stressing that the recovery would pave the way for its redesign and restoration to its original purpose for the benefit of the state and occupants of the estate.
According to Agu, “Since the quit notices were issued, we neither collect rents from the occupants nor allow new tenants into the centre. We issued the quit notices because the place has suffered abuse. We received several complaints from the residents concerning other deterioration at the estate, including the issues about the football training pitch and we didn’t think it was wise to continue to keep quiet”.
Agu added that the redesigning would create opportunity for rehabilitation of certain amenities that had been mismanaged and effective supervision of the centre.
He recalled that in 2019, residents of the estate under the auspices of Liberty Estate Residents Association had written to his office, lamenting the neglect of the estate, adding that the corporation was moved into recovering the place after a thorough investigation, following another complaint this year by the residents.
The complaint from the residents signed by their Chairman, Goddy Madueke, stated that “the problems at Liberty Estate have gone out of control and some homeowners are living in regret with their huge investment in the estate as the value of their homes have continued to plummet under their watch”.
The residents had complained of inactive security presence, stressing that “people troop in and out of the estate at will, with no restriction at the gate; the neighbourhood park has been converted to a drinking and smoking park; teenage boys and girls always gather until late hours of the night; in the morning, cans, bottles of beer and condoms have been sited at the park”, adding that efforts to disperse them had proven unrealistic.
The residents stated that the Rangers Football Club training pitch has continued to attract all manner of people from different parts of Enugu into the estate in the name of training.
“This has no doubt increased the security threat; several homes have been broken into in the past as a result and near vehicular accidents have been reported due to overspeeding by footballers into and out of the estate. The covered sitting area of the field is an eyesore; the roof of the said seating area that was destroyed by wind over two years and has not been repaired till date.”
It could be recalled that reports had since last week rented the air that the state government had sold the centre to an individual after forcefully evicting its occupants.