Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
Ebonyi State government has appealed to the people of Aguogboriga Umuoghara, Ezza North council area of the state to discontinue their protests and agitations against the new airport project sited on their land.
It said that considering the economic gains the project would bring to the people of the area in particular and the state in general; there is need for all to give the state government maximum support to actualize its target on it.
The appeal was made by the Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Uchenna Orji, a lawyer, while briefing newsmen in Abakaliki, the state capital. He said that proper arrangements were being made to adequately compensate those who may be displaced from their homes as a result of the project.
The Commissioner said nothing will stop the state government from constructing the airport in the approved site, adding that all lands belong to government and therefore called on the protesters to vacate the marked areas.
Orji said: “Some villagers in Umuoghara community in Ezza north LGA, protested yesterday and wrong 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. Consideration was given on the area of centrality and it fell 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”, he stated.
It was gathered that the project site cuts across five communities which include Amuzu in Ezza South council area, Umuoghara, Umuezeoka, Umuezeokoha, and another community all in Ezza North local government area of the state.
Recall that the federal government recently gave approval for the construction of the airport in Ebonyi.