In the past, the popular Ramat Park played host to all forms of social gatherings like burial, marriage, birthday party, church activities among others, but today, it has become home for hoodlums and reptiles as it has been abandoned for years.
Daily Trust gathered that the place, with a very wide fence, occupying a vast expanse of land, housed the marriage registry for Ikpoba Okha local government, restaurants among others, before they were pulled down by the administration of former governor Adams Oshiomhole, with a promise to rebuild it.
It was gathered that the area which hitherto generated revenue for the local government has become home for reptiles and hoodlums who smoke India hemp and consume other drugs there.
Some of the residents who spoke to our correspondent noted that the park is no longer useful as the government has refused to put it to use’’.
The park, they said, apart from being used for social functions in the past, it also served as motor park for visitors to Oregbenin market, thereby reducing traffic congestion in the area, especially on market day.
Speaking on the development, John Osazu noted that the only activity going on in a small corner of the park is a Mobile Court that holds there once in a while to try traffic rules violators.
“Before now, marriages, church activities and birthday parties took place there. So, I think government should do something about the place, because it can generate a lot of revenue for the local government,” the resident said.
He wondered why the state government would demolish the place with ‘‘empty promises that the place would be remodelled to serve the people better’’.
Mr. Sylvester Ogboya, another resident of the area, lamented that the place which was once a beehive of social activities is now serving as a hideout for hoodlums and a refuse dump site.
“This place was alive until they evacuated all the tenants occupying the buildings for their business activities. Before now, churches were renting this place for their activities’’, he said.
Ogboya, who operates a provision shop in the area, lamented that most part of the place is now being used as a refuse dump.
He advised the local government to put the area to use for the benefit of the people.
On his part, Felicia Odion called on the local government to build an event centre in the area for social activities.
“In the past, Ramat Park was a place to behold, especially at the weekend. Now, you only see hoodlums there, smoking India hemp. It is also home for reptiles,” she said.
She called on the relevant authority to build a recreational centre there so that parents can take their children to have fun.
A bus driver, Ahimen Joshua, who also spoke to our correspondent, lamented that the place was abandoned after the government demolished the buildings inside.
“This place is wide enough to be used as motor park and this will reduce the traffic congestion in the area. At least, if they don’t want to build an event centre they should use it for motor park,” he said.
He called on the authourities of Ikpoba-Okha Local Government to meet with the state government to decide what the place can be used for.
“The way the place is now is not good. They used to carry out social activities here but they destroyed everything inside. We are pleading with them to rebuild the place for it to come alive again,” he added.
Meanwhile, Niger Delta Trust could not get the response of the chairman of the Ikpoba Okha Local Government, Henric Osayende, as he was said not to be in office.
The secretary to the local government who was in the office, declined comment, saying it is only the council chairman that can speak on the issue but that he was not in the office.