…Says project, a curse not blessing
Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The people of Umuvo Community in Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area of Abia State, have vehemently rejected the proposal by the State Government to site a trailer park in their land, saying the proposed project is a curse and not a blessing.
This is as the dust being raised by the move by the State Government to fence the Lokpanta Regional Cattle Market as part of efforts to curb criminality in the area, is yet to settle.
The community, therefore, appealed to Gov. Alex Otti, to discontinue with the proposal, lamenting that they cannot cope with the attendant hazards.
In a statement signed by the President of Umuvo Progressive Union, Chikaodi Amanze; the Secretary, Ikenna Ezindu; and Patron, Okechukwu Nathan; the community argued that they are densely populated, hence, siting a trailer park in the area will jeopardise their lives.
They further noted that Umunneochi axis where there is a trailer park has become a hotbed, arguing that the state will not be able to handle the hazards of two trailer parks.
Below is a full text of the statement made available to Ikengaonline :
“We have just been informed of a purported plan by the Abia State Government to forcefully acquire over 9/5 hectares of ancestral land belonging to some families within our community for the purposes of establishing a trailer park.
“This land is at Umuvo, around former Basic Gas and near the Naval Base in Owerrinta, Isiala Ngwa South LGA.
“Our grouse is that two places had earlier been earmarked for this purpose around Aro Ngwa Junction by the previous administrations, on a free area that is not closely inhabited by the community people.
“The proposed park at Umuvo is at a very busy area in the heart of rural dwellers and in the central area of our community. There are so many dangers associated with this incursion into our community. Apart from displacing families from their natural and ancestral homes, the proposed park will occasion a lot of environmental hazards that will not augur well with our people
“We all know the atrocities going on at Umunnochi/Lokpanta axis of the state and Eleme in Port Harcourt because of trailer parks. More so, trailer park will bring kidnapping, prostitution, hard drug peddling, cattle grazing on people’s farms, robbery, killing and all kinds of crimes in the entire Isiala Ngwa by the time it becomes operational.
“Our people cannot contend with herdsmen menace. They cannot contend with the hostilities of their new guests. They cannot contend with the physical dangers associated with a trailer park.
“These are the dangers against which we are appealing to His Excellency to remove this ‘cancer’ from our midst and take it back to the original location that has been mapped out for it after a thorough environmental assessment and safety evaluation exercise.
“Our people of Umuvo gave you our support in the election. We are also a law abiding community. Our only plea is that you take this project to a free area that is not densely populated by the rural dwellers because of the dangers associated with it.”
“We anticipate your re-think and withdrawal of this unhealthy disruption of our community.”