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Pressure mounts against Cross River super highway project

Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade

Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade

Affected Communities and International Communities Take Protest to Presidency
Even as President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Paris agreement on climate change at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, few days ago, pressure has continued to mount on the Federal Government, back home, to stop the destruction of the country’s remaining rain forest in Cross River State, for the construction of a 260km super highway project.

On Thursday in Abuja, over 253, 000 signatures collected from 185 affected forest dependent communities of Cross River State and the international communities were presented to President Buhari to that effect.

They called for the immediate de-revocation of the traditional rights of occupancy of all the 185 communities on the corridor of the proposed super highway and re-routing of the state’s super highway project, otherwise, the country’s remaining rainforest and its biodiversity will be lost, thus rubbishing all the international treaties Nigeria has entered into with the UN and other international organisations on climate change.

A statement made available to newsmen in Calabar, after the presentation of their position paper and the 250, 000 signatures to the President through Minister of Environment, Hajia Amina Mohammed in Abuja, by some protesting youths and women from the affected communities, led by the Board of Trustee member of NGO Coalition for Environment (NGOSE), Dr Odigha Odigha, said the state government is not complying with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) law, as it embarks on the Super Highway and Deep Sea port projects.

The state government had issued in the Weekend Chronicle of January 22, 2016 a public notice that, “all rights of occupancy existing or deemed to exist on all that piece of land or parcel of land lying and situated along the super highway from Esighi, Bakassi Local Government Area to Bekwarra Local Government Area of the Cross River State of Nigeria, covering a distance of 260km approximately and having an offset of 200 metres on either side of the centre line of the road and further 10km after the span of the Super Highway, excluding Government Forest Reserves and public institutions are hereby revoked for overriding public purpose absolutely”.



3 Comments
  • Las Ugoh

    For centuries, “the 185 communities on the corridor of the proposed super highway” have enjoyed their “rainforest and its biodiversity” and have little to show for it. It is therefore hard to believe that there is such mounting opposition to the opening of the forest for the dwellers to see the light of the day. The same international communities who are part of the signatories to the petition against the proposed super highway have the best of roads on earth. There is no doubt that our ecosystem is plundered by greedy individuals; road construction and housing projects are also human requirements.

  • The super highway project is an ingenious project of the State Government and should be encouraged to succeed. It is a potent evacuation corridor for all goods produced in the state and arriving through the State.

  • pdbraide

    1. Has the State Govt been able to explain WHY it needs a width of 20.4km? Is there any road on earth with this width?
    2. Recently Cross River State led the list of debtor states in Nigeria coming second after Lagos(which is rich) How will resettlement of 185 communities be funded by a broke state? What is the plan? Is the secret PPP partner to fund this?
    3. Why have the farms already bulldozed since January and March not been compensated for?
    4. How can you even compensate people without doing an evaluation?
    5. Why did 10km extra have to be revoked on each side?
    6. Why cant existing roads and feeder roads in cross river be fixed and those on the master plan of his predecessors be built?
    7. Has funding been secured for the deep sea port? Who are the funders? Where was the bid for both projects?
    8, What has happened to the timber already cut? Has the state recorded any sales?
    9. If there is an agric loan that requires only land as collateral, now the state govt has seized 10km on either side… how will the affected people access it?
    10. Can the Govt explain why it had to seize peoples land for 20km “buffer zone”? Why?
    11. Where will 185 communities go to? Don’t we have enough communal clash?
    12. What is so hard about routing around Ekuri?
    13. The 12 lane super highway will empty into a rickety 2 lane road in katsina ala in Benue state. For whose benefit.

    The Govt should follow due process and the laws of the land. Everyone wants road… but this is NOT how to do it.

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