The people of Opuoma community in Ogba/Egbema local government area of Imo State, has appealed to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to pay compensation for the communal land and other properties destroyed to facilitate the process of constructing a road and bridge in the community in 2016.
The community stated road and bridge, which are at the boundary between it and Obiakpu community, also in Ohaji/Egbema local government area, have since been abandoned.
The Acting Paramount Ruler of Opuoma community, Prince Kingsley Ikenyiri, in a statement made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt yesterday, said the community has already taken the matter to the Presidency.
Ikenyiri stated that the long abandonment of the project after the destruction of community’s properties, does not reflect the supposed esteem of the NDDC.
He said: “The long abandonment of the said project shortly after destroying our properties in a kangaroo style, does not reflect the supposed esteem of the commission.
“Moreover, the project, which is valued at billions of naira and substantial part of the contract value had already been doled out to one of the NDDC’s racketeering contractors, in conspiracy with some dubious staff of the commission and their cohorts inside out.
“But, our compensation payment for our properties deliberately destroyed by the commission has continued to linger without any genuine cause till date.
“We implore the new management of the NDDC to effect our over-lingering compensation payment so as to ameliorate our sufferings, which the commission has compounded by not keeping to its earlier promises.”
However, a top official of the NDDC, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said it is the duty of the contractor handling the project to pay compensation for properties destroyed in the cause of project execution because it was part of the agreement.