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Ebonyi govt. condemns anti-airport protests, says ‘they’re politically-motivated’

Clement Nnachi, Abakaliki

Ebonyi State Commissioner for Information/Orientation, Barr. Uchena Orji, has condemned, in strong terms, the recent protest carried out by some indigenes of Aguogboriga and Umuogara communities over the location of the proposed airport in the area.

Barr. Orji made the condemnation, in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, on Tuesday, while briefing newsmen on the progress of work at the project site.

It was gathered that some youth of the two communities of Ezza North Local Government Area of the state had rejected the establishment of the proposed airport in their area.

Orji, however, berated the protesters and their sponsors for rejecting the location of the airport in their community, and warning that nothing would stop the state government from constructing the proposed airport.

Said he, “Nothing will stop the state government from constructing the airport on the approved site. All lands belongs to government, the protesters must vacate the marked areas”.

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“Such protests is a distraction to this government, I call on the general public to disregard such protest. It is the handiwork of the opposition.”

He debunked insinuations raised by the protesters alluding that the government refused to pay compensation to those whose houses were marked for demolition.

“We need to put the record straight, the present government under Engr. Umahi has a plan to develop the state and needed an airport to accelerate the development.”

The commissioner maintained that stakeholders of both Umuogara and Aguogboriga communities were duly consulted and approval secured.

“Government considered the issue of centrality in choosing the location of the proposed Cargo Airport and the two communities were favoured.

“The government did not only consult stakeholders. It held meetings with the owners of the land, decisions were reached on where to site the airport.”

The commissioner also said that Governor Dave Umahi had, on several occasions, met with stakeholders and owners of the land where issues of compensation regarding buildings and economic trees were settled.