The residents of Akurba Village in Nasarawa State have staged a peaceful protest over purported inadequate compensation for their lands taken by the state government for the on 330 KVA Step Down Electricity Substation Project.
Speaking to newsmen on Sunday in Lafia, Mr Yasir Arafat, spokesperson of more than 300 protesters, noted that they were not against the project on their lands but the compensation paid to them was grossly inadequate.
He said that though the project would help them and the state at large, but wondered why some of them were given as low as N8,000 for their land that was taken over.
“Farming is our only source of livelihood and now that our source of livelihood is taken over, we need something reasonable to enable us start-up another business.
“What can N8, 000 do for us to provide for the needs of the family amidst the present economic condition,” Arafat added.
He, therefore, called on the Federal and State Governments to come to their aid to prevent them from being exposed to hardship.
Similarly, Baba Badamasi, a community leader in the area, appealed to Gov. Abdullahi Sule to intervene in the matter to ensure justice.
He explained that some of them are making up to N1 million every year from their economic trees, but were given an amount that cannot sustain them and their families as compensation.
He, therefore, appealed to the government to look into the issue again with the view to addressing it in the interest of the overall development of the state.
When contacted, Mr Salihu Alizaga, Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development, said that the assessment for the payments of the compensation was done during the last administration in the state.
“The assessment was done by the last administration before we came into office, so we paid the compensation base on the records of the assessment that was carried out,” the Commissioner added.
Alizaga, therefore, urged people whose lands were affected by the electricity protect to remain calm and not to take the laws into their hands.
The ongoing 330 KVA Step down Electricity Substation Project is being executed by the federal government with the state government providing the land which covers over sixty hectares.