By Patrick Obia
No fewer than six peaceful protesters have been injured at the site of Obudu International Passenger and Cargo Airport as Police fire live bullets.
Eyewitness at the scene, Mr. Kajetan Ifeayi disclosed that not less than 8 Police vans and 3 hired thugs mounted guard at the site when work resumed early hours of today after it was halted due to previous agitations.
Recall that last week being 30th of December 2020, the youths of the affected villages took to the streets and the site, declaring the project a giggery pokery, passed a vote of no confidence on the Ayade led administration.
They demanded to see the Governor in person for meaningful agreement to be reached, and also ordering the suspension of work within the Okambi axis.
According to Kajetan, “Today being Tuesday, 5th of January 2021, it was indeed a tragic morning in the Community as security operatives numbered in their hundreds alongside some thugs and contractors stormed the project site to resume work, reacting to this development, the villagers mobilised themselves to protest against this public ignominy.
“With this intransigence recorded, the Police result to the use of force, by firing live bullets at the villagers, living 6 people injured including a breastfeeding mother who had her two legs gruesomely damaged by bullets.”
When contacted over the phone Ifeayi, inferred that the three thugs who were on mofty and the uniform Policemen numbering hundreds attacked the peaceful protesters leaving good number of them injured, phones confiscated and destroyed to prevent them taking photos and videos.
According to him “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty. For the human state of nature in the words of Thomas Hobbes, life is chaotic, nasty brutish and short. The unraveling calamity that has befallen the Okambi people of Obudu Local Government of Cross River State, over the Obudu International Passenger and Cargo Airport, has taken a tragic dimension.
“As at the time of this report, not less than 6 people have been injured, and 4 arrested. Meanwhile the injured ones are currently receiving treatment at Clinic.
It can be noted that, Okambi Development Association, a Community Development Organization, an organization amongst those kicking against the Obudu International Passenger and Cargo Airport, had vehemently refused the project and is currently in court with the State Government over what it termed land grabbing without due compensation and other entitlements.
Meanwhile, the State Government in one of the National dailies, said they paid almost N900 million compensation to the communities to acquire about 1,500 hectares with 9 kilometer square land for the Passenger and Cargo Airport, an assertion the chiefs have refuted.