The Abia State government has embarked on sensitization of communities and property owners to prepare them to make the necessary sacrifices for the development of Umuahia, the capital city.
Recall that Governor Alex Otti had announced the expansion of the main entry road leading into Umuahia from the Enugu- Port Harcourt expressway.
He said that the Ossah road, which is presently a dualised entry from Abia Tower junction off the expressway into Umuahia, would be expanded to six lanes.
To make this possible, over 160 properties have been pencilled down for demolition, while some ancestral lands would also go into the road expansion project.
According to the state Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Mr. Chaka Chukwumerije, public enlightenment and sensitization was already in place.
Speaking at a public enlightenment forum at Eziama na Mgbaja, Okpu Isingwu, Uzzzi na Akpizu and Isingwu autonomous communities, the commissioner said that his ministry had already done the enumeration and valuation of buildings in conjunction with external valuers.
Mrs. Oge Maduka, who represented the Attorney General of the state, further emphasised that the road expansion project was for public interest and everything would be done within the provisions of the law.
She noted that the inclusion of the AG in the sensitization team was a pointer that government would not violate the rights of people and would ensure that the execution of the project is done in a peaceful environment.
The traditional rulers of and community leaders of the affected communities, who spoke at the event, accepted government initiative to give Umuahia the befitting status of a state capital.
However, they all appealed to government to also pay compensations to those whose inherited ancestral lands would go into the road project, as well as those who genuinely own properties but have no certificate of occupancy.