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Landowners threaten to shut Enugu International Airport

By on August 29, 2013

Some landowners have threatened to halt business activities at the Enugu International Airport if the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria fails to pay them compensation within seven days for acquiring their land.

The threat is coming three days after international flight operations commenced at the airport on Saturday.

The landowners said on Monday that they were promised compensation when the land was acquired in 2009 by the Federal Government for the expansion and remodelling of the airport to international status.

They said since then, they had yet to receive any form of compensation from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.

According to them, about 11 of the landowners who started the fight for compensation have died, yet FAAN has not even called them to a meeting.

One of the landowners, Mr. Joseph Chioke, commended President Goodluck Jonathan for ensuring that an airport of international standard was put in place in the South-East, but said it was regrettable that even after the government had urged the court to give the parties time to settle out of court, nothing had so far been done.

He said, “Most of us are still very worried and our health is fast deteriorating because we have not had money to buy another land equivalent to the one we lost to the expansion and upgrade of the airport to international standard.

“We need the compensation so that we can at least build new houses, no matter how small, instead of squatting in other people’s houses. Some of us have even returned to being tenants, while our money hangs.”

Chioke said since the last court sitting in July 2013, the government had been promising to pay them off, but they had yet to see any sign of that happening.

He said, “We have, therefore, agreed among ourselves to carry out peaceful demonstrations at the airport and halt businesses at the airport from Monday, next week if this injustice being meted out to us continues.”

The Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Joe Obi, said, “We are not aware of such complaints. Government will not allow anyone to shut the airport. If there are issues, they will be channelled to the appropriate quarters and addressed.”

 

 

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  • Erochukwu Onah

    no nah