Ferdinand Ekeoma (Umuahia)
In line with the promise of the Governor of the state, His Excellency, Dr. Alex Otti, OFR to ensure that compensation is paid for every legally built structure before any demolition would be done, the Governor has approved the full payment of compensation to owners of 130 structures to be demolished in Umuahia for the construction of the Ossah-Okpara square road in the State capital Umuahia.
The government made this disclosure through the Honourable Commissioner for Lands and Housing Mr. Chaka Chukwumerije at an elaborate Town Hall Meeting with Ossah property owners on Friday 22nd September 2023 at the International Conference Centre Umuahia.
The Commissioner explained that though the initial plan was to pay the compensations instalmentally as recommended by the committee but that Governor Otti thought otherwise and approved that full payment be made to every affected property owner, explaining that payments would be given as recommended by estate valuers.
Mr. Chukwumerije reassured the property owners that only the structures that were captured and marked for demolition would be demolished, and disclosed that the list of affected owners has been compiled to qualify for compensation and that compensation was going to start same yesterday.
The Lands Commissioner who has been working assiduously in synergy with his Works counterpart, Engr. Don Otumchere Oti, the General Manager, Umuahia Capital Development Authority (UCDA) Mr. Kingsley Agomuo, mni and others said the demolition policy is geared towards developing Umuahia and not to victimise anyone, and advised owners of the affected property to relocate immediately after they must have received their compensations as earthmoving equipment would begin work soon.
Some persons from the affected communities like Ossah Ibeku, Isingwu Ohuhu and neighbouring areas had while speaking expressed appreciation to Governor Alex Otti for insisting that compensation should be paid to all the affected persons, describing it as thouthfiul and commendable.