The Igbo Social Cultural group, Ohaneze Youth Council (OYC), National President Igboayaka O. Igboayaka on Sunday 16 February, 2020 condemned the sack of Oriuzor people in Ezza North LGA, Ebonyi State.
Addressing Newsmen in Abakaliki, the National President stated that the international airport project is commendable, as the feat would make the state economic hub of the region.
Speaking on the alleged sacking of the people from their ancestral home, Comrade Igboayaka stated that even when the airport project is for the best interest of the people that it’s necessary for government to create alternative place for their inhabitance before demolition of their homes.
The National President called the State Governor to adequately compensate the affected villages by providing all the necessary logistics to enable the people not to become refugees in their own state.
He pointed out on the need for the State government to tackle the issue of social corporate responsibility by ensuring that indigenes of the community are adequately employed after completion of the project.
He appealed to the state Governor to set up a committee to ensure that those affected are properly compensated as the group would always do everything within its means to support people oriented projects.
He said, “We are aware of the recent development in the state which the state Governor attracted International Airport. We highly commended Engr. David Umahi for the great feat because that’s one of the many things we are calling our leaders of Igbo extraction to bring to Igbo land and I am sure our voices have gotten to the right place.”
“The issue of sacking people of Oriuzor Community in Ezza North LGA is what attracted our attention and we are asking the state government if it is that particular place that has the highest network as to sight the project? If so, we are giving our support but what we will not agree is for the state government to deny our people adequate compensation.”
“We are calling the State Government as they have attracted International Airport for us, they should not use it to punish our people by not getting them alternative place before driving them away, Ohaneze Youth Council will not take it lightly if the state government did not compensate those affected.”
“Even when the project is for our people’s interest, let them provide the people with necessary logistics before demolishing their ancestral homes. Also, we are calling the Governor to set up a committee, ensure that the indigenes of Ebonyi State should serve as both labourers there because Igbo people have best Engineers and 70% employment opportunity should be reserved for the indigenes of the state.”
“We are going to investigate the contractors to ensure the Engineers are of Igbo extraction as to promote Igbo nation. We are appealing the state Governor as he has attracted good to the state should use same for interest of Igbo people.”
He, however, condemned the recent South East Governor’s decision on issue bordering on the security noting that the people of Igbo nation have lost confidence in Nigeria security as such voted for regional security.
Comrade Igboayaka maintained that the region would not tolerate a situation where the region would be attacked as happening in some part of the country, stressing that if the Governors failed to reconvene after 7-days that the youth group would be forced to take law into their hands by setting up community police.
On his part, Ebonyi state Chairman, Hon. Sabastine Obiya, appreciated effort of members noting that the organization was not subjected to antagonizing the programme and policies of either state or federal government as such commended the state government for attracting the international airport.
He called the state government to retract their action by following due process before demolishing homes of the people of Oriuzor Community, pointing out that about three thousand persons were affected by the airport project, including their economic trees, homes, farmland and shrines.
Hon. Obiya further urged the state government to build an estate where those affected could relocate to enable them have a better life.
On his part, Comrade Oko Sampson Nweke, State Chairman Human Rights Defenders of Nigeria, regretted the situation of those affected by the homes demolition and appealed to the Governor of the state to hearken to the voice of the people which according to him are made to suffer unknown fate.