Crisis is brewing between the people of Eket community and Akwa Ibom State Government over compensation being paid to owners of structures slated for demolition in the state government’s urban renewal programme.
This followed a protest letter from the Ekid Peoples Union, EPU, to the state Commissioner of Works, Mr Ephraim Inyang, alleging cheating of landlords in the area in the payment of compensation for the structures.
The letter endorsed by EPU National President, Prof Asindi Asindi and made available to Nigerian Pilot in Uyo yesterday called on Akwa Ibom state government to investigate alleged corruption in the process and called for an upward review of the amount paid to the landlords.
“It has come to the notice of Ekid People’s Union that compensation being paid on demolitions along this road is far from adequate. Ekid People’s Union is the mouth piece of Ekid Nation.
“We are ever supportive of Udom Administration, hence Eket deserves the urban renewal project which His Excellency is embarking on.
“The essence of compensation is to restore a claimant into a position whereby he or she should not be worse off than before, but it is lopsided in this instance.
“We seem to witness an unprecedented and uncivilized procedure whereby accredited and assigned valuers are ignored and landlords are paid directly with no recourse to valuation.
The union maintained that the intimidation posture being used by the managers of the programme remained counter-productive while due process is not being followed, a move that could pitch the people against the government’s intension and programme.
“I doubt if the Governor is aware of the current cheating phenomenon by some agents who are not following due process. Is this not an attempt to sabotage what the present government is trying to do for a long neglected part of Akwa Ibom State?
“We are appealing for a review of the present compensation process regarding this laudable road project so that our people will not be subjected to any form of socio-economic and psychological trauma,” the letter concluded.
It would be recalled that the state government last week flagged off the payment of compensation to owners of structures slated for demolition along roads remodelled in some parts of the state, including Eket, ONNA, Ibiono, Mkpat Enin and other local government councils of the state.

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