By Akanimo Sampson
The N500 million compensation plan Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State approved for the state’s proposed cargo airport in Obudu is currently drawing blood in the area.
Already, one person has been killed, several others injured and over six houses razed as Igwo community in Obudu Local Government Area of the state erupted in violence over the N500 million.
The amount is compensation for the 1,500 hectares of land acquired by the state government for the construction of the airport in Obudu.
Governor Ayade’s approval came after the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) had charged the state government to decentralise the signing of Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) and consent for land titles for easy land processes as well as pay compensation on land acquired for projects.
Community youths allegedly went on a rampage, attacking some chiefs and elders suspected to have short-changed them in the sharing formula.
Individuals and groups are allegedly being offered between N2,000 and N5,000 as compensation.
Local sources, however, say one woman was killed in the clash, several others injured and some houses burnt.
A spokesperson for the Nigeria Police, River State Command, Irene Ugbo, while confirming the incident, says one person died.
According to her, the Police have arrested five persons in connection with the clash, pointing out that calm has returned to the troubled community.
Meanwhile, Professor John Inyang, Commissioner for Lands, announced the payment of compensation and other benefits in his office recently when he received a delegation of the executives of the community-led by its National President, Roland Ogbonta.
Inyang said for the acquisition of lands and payment of compensation, Governor Ayade has been paying compensations as and when due.
“Since I came on board as Commissioner in 2015 and reappointed for the same position in 2019, we have paid compensations to over eight different communities and corporate bodies,” he said.