People of Nteje community in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State have protested the naming of the International Cargo and Passenger Airport, after their neighbours, Umueri in Anambra East local government area of the State.
The protesters described as unfair decision by former Governor Willie Obiano-led administration to name the airport after Umueri, when 70 per cent of the land housing the airport was donated by their community.
Speaking during a meeting of the caretaker committee of Nteje Development Union (NDU) weekend, President General, Mr Chidiebele Obika called on the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo to quickly review the status of the airport, with a view to recognizing his community for her contributions.
He said, “You know the very land on which the airport is sitting on is 70 percent Nteje land. We donated 500 hectares of land for that project, while Umueri donated 400.
“They (Umueri) later protested that they no longer have land on which to farm, and after that protest, government gave them back 200 hectares.
“Government knows this, and has acknowledged so by even paying us compensation. So, why is the airport bearing Umueri Airport and not Nteje Airport?
“We also donated the major expressway to the airport, which was not paid for because you don’t pay for roads. We donated over 5 kilometers of roads for the dual carriage way, so why then can we not be recognized? We are tempted to ask what manner of politics government is playing with people’s property?
“We are calling on the government of Anambra State to do well to recognise Nteje, both in the siting of the airport and its day to day running which we know that our people are also contributing in.”
The community also called on government to implement the recommendation of a white paper made by a panel constituted by former governor, Chief Willie Obiano in June 2020 and headed by AVM Ben Chiobi (RTD).
He said the implementation, which also contained revocation of all illegally sold landed property and stoppage of any further sale would stem the tide of crime and unrest in the community.