Nnaya Eziyi, Umuahia
Some of the protesters at the Commission’s premises
Over 2,000 youths, aged men, and women in Ihe Ndume Community have tackled the Abia State Oil Producing Development Commission (ASOPADEC), over alleged insensitivity to them as its host community.
The people stated this during a peaceful protest at the gate of the on-going permanent site of the commission in the community in the outskirts of Umuahia, in Umuahia North Local Government Area.
Speaking to our correspondent, the Chairman of the community, Comrade David Maduako said the allegations include non-payment of development fee and a token for the acquisition of the land among others.
“There have also not been forthcoming in providing employments for our teaming unemployed youths even as many of them are graduates of different disciplines, skills, and trades” he lamented.
Maduako said the commission had taken undue advantage of the peaceful disposition of the people not minding that it had been relating well with their neighbouring land-donour communities.
“We feel sad about the way we are being treated because we are one of the largest land donours to the state. Yet we are not enjoying the benefits of our contributions to the development of the state,” he said.
The chairman said it was not as if they had anything in particular against the commission as they are also host to many other government establishments which had been according them their due rights.
According to him, every efforts by them to dialogue with the commission on their grievances had proved abortive, saying on one of the occasions, they boldly told them to do their worst if they felt so bad.
Efforts by the correspondent to speak with the Chairman of the commission, Chief Sam Nwubani on the allegations at its Okpara Avenue office, Umuahia, the state capital proved abortive.
According to a security man at the gate of the office, “The chairman is holding a meeting with the management team of the commission, he can’t afford to talk to you, now. I am very sorry about that.”