Following the clandestine move by the Delta State government under Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa to forcefully banish and claim the 62 acres of land donated to the Association of Auto-Mobile Technicians Delta state chapter by the Asaba Communities, the group lamented that the action of the state government was unconstitutional.
Speaking with journalists through the chairman of the association, Mr Ifeanyi Abanum, in Asaba, lamented that the agreement the association had with Governor Okowa was not adhered to.
He said, “We are hearing that forms are on sale but they did not come to us because they know that is not our agreement. They wants to displace us. Our understanding with the government is that, they will build the mechanic village and subsidizes it for our people at affordable price. But now, they have started selling forms”.
The chairman stressed that if the state government insisted in selling the forms to higher bidders, the mechanic technicians would make the place uncomfortable and ensure that work at the site stops, threatening to leave the land.
“We own the land which was donated by the communities to the Auto-Mobile Technicians called Mechanic Village in 1982, so it is not government land. The Delta state government entered partnership with private firm to build the mechanic village and handover to the government, then, we shall deal with the government that is our agreement not to sale forms”, he disclosed.
He noted that the land was approved for a mechanic village but what they are building now, part of it will contain the spare parts and some mechanic technicians, while the remaining part of the land is for the mechanic.
Every local government have its land for mechanic village but the politicians have entered the land and shared it among them like Agbo, Ogwash-uku and others leaving the mechanic to operate at the road side, thereby chasing them to collect taxes which is not possible because you must provide a place before taxing them.
“If they mean it, that means governor Okowa is deceitful and being partial because he told us that the building is for the mechanic technicians. Why selling the form to Onitsha people? You don’t buy a form to own a mechanic village.
Ifeanyi urge his members not to buy any form from government or the investors, adding, “The meeting we held with the governor where we told him that if he give us mechanic village, we will pay tax”.
The Executive Assistance to Governor on Investment, Paul Nmah, who confirmed the sales of forms, said that the investor has to do anything to recover their monies.
He said, “If investor are building, how can they recover their money without selling? After building, they will run it for 50 years and hand over to the government. This is an open market everybody can buy, so what are they complaining about? He asked.
He noted that part of the MoU signed with the investor was the sales of forms to recover whatever money spent on the building and we are in support of it.
Meanwhile, the construction of Ultra-modern mechanic village in Asaba, Delta State capital took off two weeks ago following the ground breaking ceremony performed by Governor Okowa after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the private investor, ReHomes Property Development Company Limited earlier this year.
The project which is a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) is worth about N5 billion, and it is expected to be completed within 12 months.
“The benefit is to bring the mechanics who are scattered along the road together”, Okowa said.