By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRIâ€”Communities and individuals whose properties and land were affected by the Owerri-Alaoji 330KVA transmission line project by the National Integrated Power Project, NIPP, have threatened fire and brimstone over what they termed â€œthe long delay in the payment of compensations to us.â€
Spokesman of the affected communities and individuals, Chief Geofrey Maduabuchi, told journalists that the patience of the concerned individuals and communities had run out.
â€œWe are becoming restive. The tension arose as a result of reliable information that money to that effect had been released and paid into the account of NIPP domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc sinceÂ 9 December 2009,â€ Maduabuchi explained.
While saying that the transmission line was enumerated since 2007 and the report promptly sent to NIPP to enable them pay compensation to the affected persons and communities, Maduabuchi however fumed that nothing had been done about it till date.
â€œThe essence of releasing the fund was to enable NIPP pay the required compensation to the communities and individual claimants concerned and not for the money to be kept in an account, yielding interest for some people, while our people are passing through untold hardship,â€ Maduabuchi said.
Answering a question, the spokesman said they had been appealing to them for calm, adding that â€œwe can no longer hold them because patience is not an everlasting commodity.â€
He lamented that the management of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN that was supposed to play a major role in the whole exercise was not helping matters, stressing that â€œthey are all taking us for a ride.â€
In his words: â€œThe news of the release of the fund has filtered into the ears of the villagers. Expectedly, they have become apprehensive and are threatening for action that will not augur well for the project.â€