…rallies stakeholders’ backings for project execution
To douse the fears being nursed by farm owners in towns where the Ekiti State Ring Road Phase One will traverse, the government, has expressed willingness to pay adequate compensations to affected individuals, who lost their crops to the ongoing construction project .
The government emphasized that Governor Biodun Oyebanji values the welfare of Ekiti citizens and won’t do anything that will inflict suffering or cause infringement of their rights, saying the project will bring an upswing to economic activities in the six host communities when completed.
The Ekiti estate Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye, said this in Ado Ekiti, on Wednesday, while interfacing with stakeholders from the six communities where the ring road phase one flagged off by Governor Oyebanji touches.
The communities were: Iworoko, Are, Afao, Araromi, Orun and Igbemo Ekiti, under Ifedara Local Council Development Area, where the ring road that began last year is domiciled.
Addressing the stakeholders, Mrs Afuye appealed to the farmers and other residents to cooperate with the contractor for speedy completion of the project that will bring development to the benefiting communities and decongest Ado Ekiti of traffic snarl.
The Deputy Governor stated that the interface was convened by Governor Oyebanji to resolve some misgivings being nursed by some farmers, whose lands fall within the radius of the construction site, assuring them that adequate compensations will be paid for damaged crops.
“This project rests chiefly on the development of our dear state, which concerns all citizens. On this premise, we crave your understanding on all the issues to be raised for this government is absolutely for peace and we are here to make peace with whoever is nursing any agitation with the project execution.
“We are not unaware that these agitations stemmed from the damage that will be done to some crops and farmlands in an attempt to prosecute the project and make a success of it.
“We know the value placed by our people on farming, being the mainstay of their income and economic survival and this government won’t take any action that will inflict sufferings and unwarranted loss of their means of livelihoods.
“Let me allay your fears by bringing you the assurances of our governor that justice will be done to whatever damage that is done to your crops by way of payment of commensurate compensations by the government to affected farm owners.
“Allow the contractor to do the job, your compensation is sure and guaranteed. But in paying the compensation, make sure you don’t overestimate whatever loss you suffered, that has always been the area of disagreement. Make sure you are honest in this regard”.
Lending credence to the position canvassed by the Deputy governor, the Commissioner for Works, Adesola Adebayo, revealed that the entire road length from Iworoko to the terminus is 18 kilometres and needed to be completed within 24 months, which he said made it imperative for the citizens to back the contractor.
To further allay the fears of the stakeholders, the Commissioner added that the Ministry of Works has begun full enumeration of all the affected farmers and landowners, assuring that “every single person affected will be compensated”.
In his submission, the Commissioner for Information, Taiwo Olatunbosun, revealed that the policy was aimed at creating better access across Ekiti in form of ring road that will be extended round the state to bolster economy.
Speaking specifically about the ring road phase one, Olatunbosun said it will turn the axis into the economic hub of the state, particularly when the international Cargo airport that will begin full operation soon is completed.
“If we begin to demolish houses, the displaced people won’t be happy with the government. That was why we decided to change the course and redirected to where no house will be demolished. The governor doesn’t want the masses to suffer. Even globally , ring road cannot pass through the town.
“The governor also looked at the values these houses will get in terms of monetary evaluation , because some of them were constructed with mud. The compensations that will be paid might not even be enough to build another houses.
“Let it be stated that whoever loses crops like Cocoyam, cocoa, yams, cassava , kolanut and others will be compensated. Nobody will be shortchanged, be rest assured of this”.
Speaking for the stak holders, the Alare of Are- Ekiti, Oba Adebiyi Boluwade, noted that his people were elated by the project conception, because it will add value to the development of the affected towns, saying they have nothing against the government and its intention.
The monarch advised that “As much as we are ready to support this project, please, don’t let the compensations due to individuals be delayed, let it be done in time”.
Present at the event were: Lawmaker representing Irepodun/Ifelodun Constituency 1, Hon Femi Akindele, his counterpart from constituency 2, Hon. Hakeem Jamiu, the Director General, Community Engagement, Mrs Mary Oso-Omotoso, the Chairman of Ifedara LCDA, Hon Lawrence Ogunsanya, traditional rulers, traditional chiefs, community leaders, among others.
Special Assistant Media
Office of the Deputy Governor
24th January, 2024.
Last modified: January 24, 2024