Posted by News Express | 2 March 2020 | 999 times
By BASSEY ANTHONY, Uyo
Natives of Inen Community in Oruk Anam Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have accused their paramount ruler, Akuku Johnson Obosi, of colluding with suspected fraudsters to grab their farmlands.
They alleged that their monarch brought in some persons who claimed to be businessmen out to cite a refinery and petrochemical industry in the community.
The villagers represented by the Chairman Inen Stakeholders’ Forum, Mr. Okon Akpan Brown, told reporters at the weekend that findings have proved that the ‘investors’ brought in by their paramount were fake.
Brown said the paramount ruler and his so-called investors were interested in deceitfully taking over their farmlands known as Obot Ufot.
He said the elites of the community had approached the Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo, to confirm whether the purported refinery project had the backing of the state government.
“We were shocked when the Deputy Governor said he was not aware of any refinery project in the state, but referred us to the office of the Chairman Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for verification.
“We then went to Chairman Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Mr. Emmanuel Ukpe, who also told us that there was no such project in the state.
“We asked the company representatives to name their foreign partners for the project, show us their Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project and who they negotiated the land compensation with but they could not provide any convincing answer or proof”
The Vice-Chairman of Inen Stakeholders’ Forum Elder Uduak Ewitat explained that the company was simply introduced as Marsh Ken Global Investment with operational office located opposite Women Development Centre, 64, IBB Way, Uyo.
“The address they gave us this time is different from the address of last year while one Edidem Marshall Bassey claimed to be Managing Director of the company.
“How can a company which is ready to build a refinery is unable to produce Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) which is very important to the project and residents of the community?”
“Surprisingly, they have already prepared to pay compensation to land owners without negotiating with anybody except the Paramount Ruler. They came with money to blindfold the youths deceiving them that would work in the refinery.
“From what we observed on yesterday, the conmen are working for unknown paymasters who want dispossessed our people of their land.
“The company is not competent to discuss refinery/petrochemical industry matters. They lack expertise and know-how to handle it,” he said. (The Nation)
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