By Oginyi Ruth
Two persons have been arrested by the police at Amuzu in Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State over alleged vandalization of equipment procured by the state government for the take-off of the international airport by the Umahi-led administration.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Airport Project, Hon. Joseph Nwobasi, who disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Abakaliki, explained that unknown persons had broken the glasses of some of the machines with stone.
According to Nwobasi, the machines were kept under the custody of some residents of Amuzu community, but when they could not explain how the damage came about, two persons were arrested.
He further stated that the project was realizable, stating that on its completion it would provide job and attract investors, even as he said that the earlier protest against the construction of the airport has been addressed.
“The airport project is realizable in the sense that the drawing and clearing is ongoing. As. I am talking now, the bulldozers are in the site. It is not a paper work. It is a feasible project. The land for it is a vast one and the location is part of Ezza South and Ezza North Local Government Areas. But the largest part of the airport land is in Ezza North.
“Actually, there was a protest sometime ago, but after that we called a meeting of the traditional rulers in Ezza land, the traditional rulers disowned whoever was involved in that protest. So, for now, there is no problem. For now, there is no problem. On daily, I visit the site with the surveyors and enumerators. So, we have laid the issue of protest to rest.
“Ebonyians will gain a lot from the international airport. It is going to put Ebonyi name on world map. It is going to engender rapid development in the state and attract foreign investors from far and near.
“There is nothing like vandalizing the bulldozers. What happens was that in the compound where the machines for work were parked, unknown persons went there and used stones to break the glasses. So, when the operators got there yesterday morning, they called me and I immediately rushed to the site to see for myself.
“When I got there, I went to the people in the compound because the day we parked the bulldozers, we went to the people that own the compound and negotiated with them to take care of the machines, so, I have to call them to inquire who did that, they all denied. What I did was to alert the area command at Onueke and got two persons arrested.”
“As I am talking now, investigation is on, even the local government chairman has been contacted. So, all hands are on deck to make sure that the perpetrators are arrested. The process of compensating the owners of the land is ongoing. Like I know that the enumeration has been concluded which is one step. The next level, I think will be to compensate those affected. Bit you should know that development cannot take place in the air, but on land”, he stated.
When the Ebonyi state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Loveth Odah was contacted, she confirmed the incident. According to her, the residents of the compound where the machines were parked denied the vandalization, adding that, the police was investigations the matter.
Recall that there was a protest against the proposed airport by some members of the community before the now.