Youths Stalls WNDP Building Projects In Agatu, Demand Compensation
Youths in Agatu have kicked against the development of units of buildings on their land by an agency until compensation is paid to them.
An agency, World Nations Development Programme has indicated interest and started land clearing to commence the building of 2000 units of two bedroom flats at Engila, a community in Agatu Local government Area of the state.
But the locals, especially the youths have kicked against the project insisting that compensation must be given to them.
The youths accused state government of collecting money meant to compensate them over their land from the agency and have pocketed same. They chased away the contractor from the land and kidnapped hid brother in the processes
The Och’Agatu, Chief Godwin Onah, had led a delegation of chirps and elders from Agatu to meet with the government eho frowned at the attitude of the youth.
Chief Onah while addressing Governor Ortom, his deputy Benson Abounu and member of his cabinet appealed to the Governor to pardon them and not take the project away from them.
“I plead with you on behalf of my community to pardon us. Do not take the project away from us because of a few bad eggs. We need enlightenment. Our youths need to be spoken to and be educated about the project.
“We keep fighting over fish pond, land and anything at all. All these big criminals now come to hide in Agatu. You are a man of God, send your people to come and preach the Bible to us.
“I no longer have peace. Day and night I talk because people fight everyday. It is a total disgrace to me. I’m no longer the owner and leader of my people. I am ashamed. Please give usnoyher chance to work with you,” he said.
The Project Coordinator, Dr Noah Adeboh assured the government that the agency is going on with the prototype but expressed fear that the villagers might harm them on site if security is not provided for them.
He stated that the villagers are demanding due compensation or the project will not be allowed in their soil.
“I’m scared and the WNDP has taken. Decision that if there is no assurance of security, we will not come and the project will be taken away because no project is worth a life or blood of innocent citizens.
Responding, Governor Samuel Ortom apologized to WNDP on behalf of state government saying WNDP should be applauded for identifying with the state at this trying moments.
He said the state is challenge by not meeting up with payment of salary and execution of projects was also difficult hence the need to appreciate them.
He told the chiefs to go back to their community and speak with the youths saying as a father of the state, “I’m giving them another opprtunity to reassess their actions or the project will be moved to Apa.
“I want Agatu to be developed and that is the reason why I awarded the road from Oshigubudu to Ogbagaji and others to make the place better and developed.
“Fights over lands and fish pond must end and we are using the carrot approach now but after this grace period, we will apply the stick approach.
He insisted that no person collected any dime from WNDP but that they are going to execute the project at no expense to the villagers.
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