Airport: Ebonyi Govt. admonishes host communities

Posted by Charles Iwuoha, Enugu | 18 September 2019 | 1,221 times

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•Ebonyi Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Uchenna Orji

The Ebonyii State Government on Tuesday called on the people of Aguogboriga Umuoghara, Ezza North Local Government Area of the state, to support the siting of International Airport in the community.

The government reiterated its readiness to adequately compensate those who may be displaced from the community as a result of the project.

The project site cuts across five communities including Amuzu in Ezza South local government, Umuoghara, Umuezeoka, Umuezekoha and another community all in Ezza North local government areas of the state.

Governor Dave Umahi had secured the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for the construction of an international airport after securing some lands in Ezza North and Ezza south local government areas of the state. The lands include Amuzu and Oriuzor.

Umahi had last week invited all the stakeholders in Ezza North and South to a meeting in government house and promised to pay compensation to those that may be displaced as a result of the airport project.

But the people of Aguogboriga trooped out en masse and protested the extension of the project site to their community accusing some stakeholders of the area of master minding the extension to enable them build hotels and other facilities in the area.

The government said the protest was a distraction to the project describing it as a handiwork of opposition.

The Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Barr. Uchenna Orji, while briefing journalists yesterday assured that the state government would compensate those that may be displaced and appealed to the people to allow the siting of the project in their community.

He said nothing will stop the state government from constructing the airport in the approved site, adding that all lands belong to government and called on the protesters to vacate the marked areas.

“Some villagers in Umuoghara community in Ezza north LGA, protested yesterday and impressions were given out. We were actually worried because newsmen were there.

“We needed to put the record straight. As a matter of fact, the state government under the leadership of the governor, Chief David Umahi, has a plan to develop the state and needed to build an international airport for the state.

“The stakeholders of Umuoghara community were consulted about the area to site the international airport. Considerations were given on the area of centrality and it fall on Ezza North and part of Ezza South LGAs.

“The governor did not only consult stakeholders but also held a meeting with the owners of the lands and decisions were reached on where to site the airport that will be central to the people of the state in general.

“The governor has severally met with the stakeholders and owners of the lands and issue of compensation was also resolved. It was agreed that enumeration be made so that where the issues of building and economic trees affected can be compensated.

“Before this administration, the people of Ezza North were so neglected and the governor said such thing will not happen at his own time. I therefore call on the general public to treat the protest with the wave of hand. It is just an orchestration of people who think that they could blackmail the responsible government led by Chief David Umahi.”

Source: News Express

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