Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The Nkata Afarata Ibeku Community of Abia State, which hosts a number of federal and state institutions in Umuahia metropolis, has challenged the affected institutions to discharge their corporate social responsibilities to the host community.
This was contained in a communique issued by stakeholders of the community after their strategic meeting in Umuahia.
The communique was jointly signed by their Traditional Prime Minister, Chief Dr Chidiebere Mbanaso; Village Head, Chief S. N. Onwuchekwa; and Chairman of Nkata Family Meeting, Hon. Uchendu Ihemeremadu.
It read in part: “Aware of the prevailing circumstances of occupation of our land by both state and federal and other institutions, namely: Abia State House of Assembly, Abia State Women Development Centre, Abia State Independent Electoral Commission (ABSIEC), Abia State Customary Court of Appeal Umuahia, Abia State Commissioners Quarters , Abia State Mopol 28 Umuahia, and Abia State Police Headquarters Umuahia, Abia State E-Library Umuahia, State Headquarters of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Central Bank of Nigeria Umuahia, Zone 9 Police Headquarters Umuahia, National Identification Number Centre, Department of State Security (DSS), Federal High Court Umuahia, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), West African Examination Council (WAEC) etc.
“That the meeting of the stakeholders was essentially to discuss, identify and notify the above listed institutions the lack and none compliance of their community social responsibilities to their host community.
“Consequent upon the above, the meeting resolves as follows: To call the attention of all these establishment owned by the state, federal and private entrepreneurs to fulfill their community social responsibilities to their host community henceforth.
“That the leadership of the community Nkata Afarata Ibeku remains the owner of the lands where these institutions were established and reserves the right to every community social entitlement as it is obtainable across the Nation.”
When contacted for his response, INEC Head, Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Bamidele Oyetunji, said that the electoral umpire does not make profit, and wondered the type of social responsibility the community expects of the commission.
“Which social responsibility are they talking about? This is a public institution; we are there to serve them and we are serving them.
“What do they want? Are we making profits? Do they need polling booth and we didn’t give them one?”
INEC wondered what the host community still expects from a federal institution that only renders service to the people.