Ebonyi Airport: Community protests planned demolition of over 3000 houses

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Protesters

The people of Aguogboriga, Umuoghara community in Ezza North local government area of Ebonyi State, on Monday, vowed to resist the attempt of the Ebonyi State government to demolish over 3000 houses belonging to people of the community without compensation.

The state government had picked two large communities: Amuzu and Oriuzor in Ezza North and part of Ezza South LGAs to site an international airport which has equally received the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

But the people of Aguogboriga trooped out in mass and protested the extension of the project site to their community, accusing some
stakeholders of the area of masterminding the extension to enable
they build hotels and other facilities in the area.

When journalists visited the site, bulldozers were seen clearing lands in Aguogboriga community, while the residents, aged women, men, school children, youths in their hundreds were seen protesting against it.

The protesters carried their household properties to the site to protest the acquisition of their lands.

Some of the protesters, including Elder Aguiyi Oke, Elder Ignatius Akochi, Elder Alieze Igwe, Nwafor Toochukwu, Anyigor Innocent, Mrs. Obioma Okohu and Mrs. Cecilia Nwafor, who spoke to journalists said they were not against construction of the International Airport but that their Aguogboriga community which they described as their ancestral homes should not be included as the project site.

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

They explained that their crops had 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.

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
migrated into another community for cluster or resettlement”, they said.

The State governor, David Umahi had last week invited all the stakeholders in Ezza North and south to a meeting at the government house where he promised to pay compensation to those that may be displaced as a result of the Airport project.