‘Compensation’ money brews crisis in Eket

The Nigerian currency, Naira

The Nigerian currency, Naira

FRESH crisis is brewing in Eket Local Council of Akwa Ibom State as the people have reportedly rejected the cheques from the state government in respect of houses that would give way for a proposed urban renewal project.

Government had hinted of an ambitious programme for the oil-rich city. To this end, several houses had been earmarked for demolition but the issue of poor compensation may pitch the people against the state government.

Rising from its meeting recently, the community elders, under the auspices of Ekid People’s Union (EPU), petitioned Governor Udom Emmanuel alleging irregularities in the payment of the compensation.

The letter, which was signed by EPU president, Professor Asindi Asindi, said: “the cheques landlords are being made to sign for carry only a bemoaning fraction of the real worth of the structures to be demolished. The paying agents adopt an unprecedented and uncivilised procedure whereby accredited and assigned valuers are ignored and landlords are paid directly with no recourse to valuation.

“The demolition is already on course and a period of less than two weeks after payment is too short for the affected landlords to relocate. From what we are experiencing, some agents are trying to ambush, thwart and kill the joy of Ekid people over this laudable project.

“We have had this sad experience in the past – the East-West road project is a classic example. Eket-Etinan road project was stopped. Eket-Ibeno road project had been abandoned till you came on board,” they stressed.

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