–         Community: We Don’t Want The Mbanaso Experience

–         Allege, Some Influential Persons Dropping Gov’s Name To Take Our Land

There appears to be serious issues about the building proposed Government House at Eziachi in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State, as some stakeholders in the community have queried the sincerity of those behind the project.

They noted that the entire scenario is strange to them, adding that they woke up one day and saw some earth moving equipment at the Old Barracks, close to Eke Eziachi market square, when they attempted to find out what was happening, they met a man who claimed to be a staff of Cranemburg Construction Company, but later turned out to be a labourer and not an Engineer as he previously claimed.

He further stated that, “the previous week, some leaders of the community were invited to Owerri by a group of people who claimed to have gotten approval from Federal Government to build a housing estate on the same location at Eziachi. Shortly after that encounter, these people came with the proposal to build a Government House in the area, making the whole thing look suspicious and dubious. That is why virtually every person in Eziachi community is agitated.

A prominent leader in the area who confided in our reporter about the issue said, they would not want what happened to Orlu people when former Governor Rochas Okorocha appointed Ichie Best Mbanaso as  Major of Orlu and later Commissioner for Works.Shortly after Mbanaso was sacked as Commissioner, it became obvious that virtually all what he claimed and did with the purported approval and endorsement of the Governor were not known to the latter.

He recalled how Mbanaso went to Umuowa, Nkume, Okwudor and persuaded them to give their lands for the building of an NNPC mega petrol station which the state government had purportedly approved. He also assured the people that those who willingly gave out their lands would be compensated with one hundred thousand naira(#100,000) each.

Based on this, most of the villagers hurriedly gave out their lands out of fear. Today, it is on record that Mbanaso later built a personal filling station on the same site.

The source also stated that Mbanaso, in the same manner went to Owusu Avenue, in Orlu and told the people of the area, that he wanted to construct a dual lane and urged them to vacate the area, paving way for the demolition of peoples ancestral homes only for Mbanaso, to build a personal hotel on the large expanse of land.

“In view of all these, it is not as if we are against the government developing the area. What we are against is a situation where some dubious people will use the name of government to appropriate our land in questionable circumstances”.

When contacted, the President General of Eziachi community, Chief Uche Achiugo, confirmed that nobody reached out to them.

He aligned with those who said that they woke up one morning and saw earth moving equipments at the location in question, making the entire scenario look suspicious.

“We are presently in the dark about what is happening here. However, we have been told to come to Owerri on Wednesday next week. It is after going to Owerri that we will know the next line of action. For now, we are keeping our fingers crossed”.

Meanwhile, it was gathered that a traditional ruler in the area is among those spear-heading the project.