By Austin Ogwuda
Asabaâ€” HUNDREDS of youths from Onaje, Asaba, yesterday stormed the Asaba International Airport site, along the Asaba-Benin expressway, protesting alleged delay in releasing their due compensation.
The placard-carrying youths also marched to the office of the State Ministry of Lands and Survey to register their grievances.
A press statement signed by the Diokpa of Obiaje village on behalf of Onaje community, said: â€œIt became manifest that extra 250 acres of developed and partially developed land belonging to many communities were fraudulently annexed to the gazetted 210 hectares already duly acquired by the state governmentÂ in 2002 for an airstrip
â€œHowever, the state government, in an effort to legalize the acquisition, further gazetted the recent acquisition only in February 2009.Â This is in spiteÂ of the fact that development was stalled at this location by the government since 2005.
â€œMeanwhile, as much as N323 million was approved as due compensation for the extra acquisition in 2009 budget for the affected communities, but unfortunately not a penny had been received by any of the affect communitiesÂ or individuals in this location till date.â€
Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Lands,Â Mrs. Philomena Ologitere, who addressed the protesters, appealed for calm and promised that their grievances would be conveyed to the commissioner.