The three communities in Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State forcefully displaced by the past administration for the establishment of the new Abakaliki City have received Certificates of Occupancy from Governor David Umahi as part of State Government’s resettlement plan for them.
The three communities: Agbaja Unuhu, Ndieze Inyimagu and parts of Igbeagu, were previously located within the large expanse of Military land along Abakaliki-Afikpo Road and Abakaliki-Ogoja Road.
The land was, however, acquired by the administration of former Governor Martin Elechi who gave the Military in exchange another location in Amasiri, Afikpo North Local Government Area of the State.
In a bid to develop the land into a new city, which he named Ocho-Udo City, after his traditional title, Elechi evicted the occupants without compensation, a development that brought untold hardship on the people.
Umahi as part of his Campaign in 2015 had promised to resettle the affected occupants, a promise he had also pursued vigorously, culminating in the official handover of the Certificates of Occupancy to the representatives of the communities.
Performing the handover at Nkwoagu Primary School, venue of his governorship campaign rally in Abakaliki Local Government Area on Wednesday, Umahi directed the Commissioner for Lands and Survey as well as the Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board to consider the location for establishment of new schools.
He also pledged to donate N50 million to each of the communities in the next one month to assist them resettle properly, adding that the State Government would ensure that Markets and other life-enhancing amenities were provided for them.
Recall that Goveenor Umahi had earlier in 2015 changed the name of the new city from Ocho-udo city to Centenary City, which it now bears.
Governor Umahi, who expressed deep appreciation to Abakaliki people for their support, re-emphasized his commitment to making Abakaliki the best State capital in Nigeria.
He said the dualization of the Abakaliki-Afikpo and Abakaliki-Enugu expressways have commenced, while his administration would continue to upgrade roads and other infrastructures within and around the Capital city, including the Nkwoagu-Amagu Onicha Road.
The representative of Ebonyi North Senatorial District and former Governor of the State, Dr. Sam Egwu, and his House of Representative counterpart, representing Abakaliki/Izzi Federal Constituency, Chief Sylvester Ogbaga, described Umahi as a “promise keeper” and assured that there was no other party deserving the votes of the people away from the Peoples Democratic Party.
Earlier, the State Coordinator of Atiku/Obi Campaign Organization, Chief Emmanuel Obasi, had maintained that the only hope for Nigeria was to vote the PDP candidates for the presidency and other levels of governance.
Obasi described Atiku Abubakar as an experienced industrialist and detribalised Nigerian who would ensure an all inclusive governance devoid of clannishness, selective vendetta and insecurity of lives and property.
He maintained that Governor Umahi had no contender in the State as no one can matched his leadership credentials, adding that his re-election was a done deal.
Meanwhile, some members of the resettled communities who spoke to journalists, including Chief Enyiogu Nwandugo, expressed gratitude to the Governor for the gesture.
According to Nwandugo: “The Governor had given us back our lives, thereby demonstrating that he is actually a Christian.
“We will surely support him because we are convinced that he will still do much more for us in his second tenure.”