Natives protest citing of airport in community Ebonyi

Natives of Aguogboriga, Onueke villages in Umuoghara autonomous community of Ezza North local government area of Ebonyi state Monday, in a peaceful protest pleaded with the state government to leave their village land and take a vast empty land in Agu Umuoghara area for the construction of International Airport.

Governor Dave Umahi had secured the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari and Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to construct an International Airport.

Governor Umahi had a meeting with all the stakeholders from Ezza North and south at government house where he promised to pay compensation to those that may be displaced as a result of the Airport project.

However, this did not go down well with natives of Aguogboriga and Onueke villages which made them trooped out en mass   protesting extension of the project site to the land which they said will not only bring famine and render them homeless.

They accused some stakeholders of the area of master minding the extension to enable them build hotels and other facilities in the area.

During the protest, bulldozers were seen clearing lands in the said area of the community while the residents; aged women,nursing mothers alongside their babies, men, school children, youths and girls in their hundreds were seen protesting against it.

Addressing reporters, stakeholders from the area including Elder Aguiyi Oke, Elder Ignatius Akochi, Elder Alieze Igwe, Nwafor Toochukwu, Anyigor Innocent, Mrs. Obioma Okohu and Mrs. Cecilia Nwafor said they were not against construction of the Airport but that their Aguogboriga community which they described as their ancestral homes should not be included in the project.

They appealed to the state government to take a vast land in AguUmuoghara which they said was larger than the whole project site for the construction of the airport.

They explained that their crops have been destroyed with bulldozers and raised the alarm that hunger was imminent in the community even as they lamented that no records of the crops and land owners were taken before the bulldozers started clearing the lands in the community as a sign that they would be compensated.

They alleged that over 3,000 houses in the community have been marked for demolition as a result of the project.

“In the history of Ezza Nation, no village has ever collapsed or migrate into other community for cluster or resettlement”, they said.

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