The Ebonyi state government Tuesday called on natives of Aguogboriga,Umuoghara community of Ezza North local government area of the state to support the siting of International Airport in the community.
This is even as the government restated its readiness to adequately compensate those who may be displaced from the community as a result of the project.
The land earmark for the project cuts across five communities namely Amuzu in Ezza south local government, Umuoghara, Umuezeoka, Umuezekoha and another community all in Ezza North local government areas of the state.
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 had trooped out en mass 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 Tuesday 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. Consideration was 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 DavidUmahi” he stated.