By Oswald Agwu 

Deep crises loom in Eziukwu Ewa, Amankwo Village in Afikpo North local government area of Ebonyi State over disagreements in siting of a telecommunication mast in the area.

 

Over the weekend, the hitherto peaceful village was thrown into uproar as some persons alleged that a stakeholder in the area ceded a portion of their communal land to a communication company for erection of communication mast without recourse to collective consent of other members of the community.

The impasse was further heightened by the sudden construction of a building on an access road leading to the home of one Surveyor Titus Obila for allegedly daring to query the irregularities associated with the transaction.

The actions of the stakeholders and his cohorts, which was considered by the majority as both selfish and egocentric had pitched the village against itself. 

Investigations revealed that a section of elders of the village who wanted transparency in the transaction process that brought the telecommunication company were allegedly being persecuted by youths loyal to the stakeholder.

Gov Umahi

Titus Obila who was allegedly denied access to his home, while speaking to our correspondent, condemned the level of marginalization going on in the village by a section of stakeholders, stressing that it was wrong for any person or group of persons to assume lordly position over the collective wealth of a community. 

He narrated that when the wireless company initially entered the deal with a stakeholder, they were told by concerned villagers that one person cannot carry out such transaction; a five years deal, on behalf of the community.

Based on that, the stakeholder that brought the telecom company decided to call a townhall meeting where members of the community raised some questions.

Obila narrated further: “It is very clear that nobody is at home with the present development in the community where someone decided to erect a building on an access road against the wishes of the people.

“My own offence is that I asked for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and a photocopy of the cheque given to the community for the project.

“Because of my input, access road to my home was blocked as a building was erected on it. 

“Blocking my access is their own way of meeting up with their target of eliminating me, and I am not the only person using the access road. 

“Moreover I’m not the only person opposing the development, and the Police has told us to talk about peace instead of violence. 

“The construction is on, and when I went to the site, I was attacked by some boys.

“When the Divisional Police Officer went there, they also attacked him.

“It is an act of wickedness and expression of accumulated animosity against me. 

“I have not slept in my house because there is no access to it. 

“The town planning had gone there and placed stop work sign on it.”

The President of Eziukwu Ewa Welfare Union, Chief Nkama Ibila, when contacted, described the development as unhealthy for the corporate well-being of the village, pointing out that without peace no community or people can record any substantial development.

According to him, the action of the selfish stakeholders has robbed the village off the resources often mopped up to offer scholarships to its indigent members.

Ibila explained: “it is clear to everybody that it is not healthy. 

“Blocking somebody’s entrance with a building is bad. 

“There must be an agreement and an MoU before you set up a telecom mast. 

“The whole thing was done by one person.

“Even when police came to the site where the structure was being erected, they attacked them, and we know how much a company pays for putting up a mast. 

“The whole exercise was fraudulently done. 

Loveth Odah

“There is no peace here. 

“Before now we use community money to train the less privileged ones but now it is used for legal tussle. 

“Where there is no peace, there is no development.

“Others are laughing at us.”

Meanwhile, another stakeholder supporting the alleged fraudulent transaction, Chief Sam Ohuche maintained that the land where the building was being erected belonged to the community and not a single individual.

“The matter is with the police and other security agents and so they should go and sort themselves out” he retorted. 

However, the Police Public Relations Officer of Ebonyi State Police Command, DSP Loveth Odah, when contacted on the matter via telephone, said the information had not been transmitted to her by the DPO in the area. 

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By Mosvin Communications

Nation's Pride Newspaper is a production of Mosvin Communications located in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria.

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