…Victims beg Gov Umahi not to render them homeless, suggest expansion, bridge
Nde-Ekuma family in Uhu Amaji, Amasiri community in Afikpo North local government area, are now in tears over the recent decision by the state government to construct a flyover at Amasiri Junction.
The victims lamented that over 70 houses within the project site have been marked for possible demolition, stressing that if the demolition is carried out that majority of them will be left homeless.
In their written appeal to the governor which was signed by Ichie Dickson Akuma Osim, Iche Chief Okoche Osim, Ichie Omezue Martin Oko Ewa and five others, they described Governor Umahi as God-Sent to Ebonyi people.
However, they appealed to him to remember his five-fold covenants with God on assumption of office, while making reference to No 1 and 4.
“No 1 reads and we quote: To serve Ebonyi State with the fear of God”. And no 4. ” To passionately help the widows and the oppressed.
“Since the voice of the people is the voice of God, the undersigned (representatives of the would be victims), for ourselves and the entire populace of Uhu-Amaji (aka Amasiri Junction) are solemnly appealing to the Executive Governor of Ebonyi State to reconsider the building of flyover at Amasiri Junction”, they appealed
They further urged the governor to instead construct by pass within the junction. One from Asa to Central where little or nothing will be destroyed, then another for Edda-Okposi road which is already there but needs to be tarred.
They also suggested that a bridge could be constructed at Amasiri Junction for pedestrians.
They explained that the site is the ancestral home of Nde-Ekuma family and co-inhabitants who have lived there before Nigeria came into being.
“To us, Uhu Amaji Amasiri aka Amasiri Junction has been and remains the ancestral home of the historic Nde-Ekuma family and the proposed demolition will make us and so many others refugees in our own land.
“That no amount of compensation or even resettlement programme will be commensurate to the harm the project will occasion to Nde-Ekuma family as refugees in our own land.
“That we observe presently that there is no heavy traffic of vehicles or human beings at Amasiri Junction to warrant such gigantic project, which will eventually render many of us homeless in our ancestral home. As it stands now, some vehicles coming from Okigwe follow Akaeze through Uburu-Onicha to Abakaliki. Then others coming from Abakaliki follow Onueke-Onicha via Uburu to Abia State. Leaving a very negligible proportion that pass through Amasiri.
“Your Excellency, Sir, we may suggest, that what Amasiri-Afikpo-Ohaozara roads require is double lane and maybe, Zebra check-mate over speeding.
“That for ages and centuries past, the said Uhu Amaji aka Amasiri Junction if taken from us by your administration, will constitute the highest degree of man’s injustice to man, (thereby making us lose our identity). It is on this premise that we pray you to withdraw this proposal as you consider the effect the said proposal, if implemented will have on the lives, security and future of your teaming population of the community”, they further appealed.
Speaking with the youth leader, Akuma Chigozie Osim, he reiterated that despite the place being his ancestral home, that he was born there and don’t have any other place to go.
He stated that instead of the flyover, the state government can expand the road, stating that such was done in other places within the local government area.
Akuma said that if the government fails to heed to their plea that they will not fight it, rather will continue praying that God touches the governor’s heart.
Adding: “We are not fighting the government and the youths are not protesting any form of development in that area, but we are pleading that expansion of the road be embarked on instead of the flyover.
He said they were not informed about the demolition until on Monday when some from the community told them to remove their properties that government was coming for demolition on Wednesday, that is today.
“We were not invited for any meeting as regards to the demolition. Every meeting they had was kangaroo and charade. The property owners and landlords have not been consulted for any meeting. The community just woke up on Monday this week to announce that they are giving us from that Monday to today which is Wednesday to evacuate every property in that area that government is coming for demolition”, he noted.