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Igwe Emmanuel Egwuaba who is the traditional ruler and stakeholders of Ogurugu community in Uzo Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State have promised to support as well as donate their land for the proposed naval base and its operations in the area.
The traditional ruler, alongside his people made this known when a joint committee set up by both the federal and the state governments paid a working visit to the community on Monday.
The committee, led by the Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Barr. Ifeanyi Ossai, on the side of the Enugu State Government, and Rear Admiral Chijioke Onyemaobi, who represented the federal government, was welcomed by the jubilant members of the community who hosted them with fanfare.
Igwe Egwuaba while convening his people’s happiness to the government for its intervention in the community, said if and when sited, the naval base would boost the economy of the area through the attraction of investors and other social amenities such as hospital, school and market.
He further added that the community had earlier resolved to cooperate and support the government by ceding their land and ensuring that the project was successfully executed.
According to the royal father: “As you can see yourself, the entire community members came out to welcome these government officials because of the news of the naval base they are coming to site here. It is a thing to celebrate because the government has remembered us.
‘All of us in Ogurugu Community have resolved to support this project, and we want to assure the government that whatever is required from us, we will make it available. We have equally told them that we have large hectares of land and we are ready to give out our land for this project.
“This project will have many positive impacts on the lives of our people and the general economy of this place. You know we are dominantly into agriculture and we produce food staples such as rice, cassava, maize, among other agricultural produce. So, this proposed base by the Nigerian Navy will open up our area and expand the economy. We can easily move our farm produce to the market through the waterways.
“Ogurugu community is made up of 9 villages and we all share the same communal land. We have agreed that whatever the government is planning here in Ogurugu we’re ready to support it. We have pledged to give our land for the project because it’s all about the development of our community.
“Let me emphasize this for the umpteenth time; we, the people of Ogurugu community in Uzo Uwani Local Local Area of Enugu State are happy with the way Governor Peter Mbah is leading us by example. He is spreading his good governance across every community.
“We are also appealing to Governor Mbah to come and invest in agriculture in Ogurugu. We have fertile land for whatever agricultural purpose the governor is planning.’
On his part, a former chairman of the local government area and stakeholder from the community, Chief James Ademu, noted that the news about the proposed project had already brought together the different villages in the community in order to ensure maximum cooperation with the government officials, saying it was a much anticipated project by the people.
He further disclosed that they had held several meetings among themselves in anticipation of the committee and arrived at a conclusion that they were ready to donate any part of the community the Nigerian Navy chooses for the project.
“This project is going to help our people, empower us economically, and we will not take it for granted,” Chief Ademu said.
Speaking earlier, Rear Admiral Onyemaobi said the committee had visited the Igwe’s palace to pay homage and also seek the support and cooperation of the people in making sure the naval base operations were actualized.
He appealed to the people to work in synergy with the military personnel who would be visiting the area from time to time by assisting them with required support and information.