By Esther Nworie
After Ebonyi State Government announced its commitment to better the lots of households affected by the ongoing Airport project in Ezza part of the State, some displaced persons have come up to solicit for help from the public so that they can survive the hardship associated with the displacement on them.
The displaced persons mostly women spoke to Citizens’ Advocate during the weekend in Abakaliki and appealed to the Government and good spirited individuals to come to their aid materially and financially.
The women numbering 20 had come to Abakaliki on Friday to borrow money from a firm but were stranded after the firm rejected their loan request because they could not meet up with the criteria to pay N1500.
According to them, since the development of the airport, it had become very difficult for them to feed their families because they don’t have money nor land to farm thus, they decided to seek for the loan.
According to the women, they had gone to collect loan and start up a business but the lender refused to give them the loan because some persons who had borrowed from the company earlier could not remit the money and also they don’t have N1500 to pay before they can access the loan.
One of the displaced persons who gave her name as Mrs. Nkechinyere Nwafor Amaka Ezza, narrated that her 11 years old son Wisdom Nwafor is about to lose one of his legs to a strange illness he sustained during the demolition.
She said, “When our house was demolished, the boy went to excavate the remaining blocks from the foundation and he sustained injury, that was how the problem started. I have taken him to different hospitals, my husband has sold his cows to raise money for treatment but no improvement. The injury wants to condemn his leg.”
“I came to collect loan and use some part to farm and to take care of the hospital bill for my son. He is 11years old boy, my third child. I collected N40,000 before but I have not pay back because I used the money to pay in the hospital.”
“I was told it is poison and now I came to borrow again but the company refused because I have not remitted the first money I borrowed.”
She further highlighted on the expenses made so far to save the boy from dying which has taken from her over N200,000.
“The first place I took him to, we paid 60,000, the second place 80,000 and the last place I paid 40,000, and 20,000.
“The airport project actually affected us and I’m appealing to the general public to help me pay back my loan and take my son back to the hospital for proper treatment. Money is my hindrance now.
Another victim, a widow Helen Alegu said, “My husband died November last year. I was not actually at home when the demolition took place and I lost many things. I currently owe and I need money to start a business.”
“David Umahi promised to build a place for us to relocate and we are waiting, but currently I don’t have means of survival, this is the first time I am coming to borrow loan so that I can farm. I’m a mother of two; the people said they can’t lend me money because the first set of persons that borrowed has not returned the money.”
Angelina Nwokwu on her part said, “We are farming now but I don’t have money that’s why I joined my people to come and borrow so that I can farm but they refused to give us money. I came to borrow N10,000 but I was asked to pay N1500 which I don’t have.”
I want to use this opportunity to let the government know that his message is yet to get to us, we need assistance to survive. We don’t have land, we don’t have house to live and we don’t have money to start life after the demolition, we are suffering.”