The protest by youths and women of Ukambi community over the ongoing demolition of their community farmlands for the proposed Obudu International cargo and passenger airport, has claimed one life.
According to CrossRiverWatch, the victim, Mr. Raphael A. Ushie, a Chief Inspector of Nigeria Immigration Service who is also the younger brother of Governor Ayade’s personal physician, Dr. Vincent Ushie, died Thursday morning, after being rushed from a hospital in Obudu to the Univerisity of Calabar Teaching Hospital UCTH.
It was gathered from one of the community leaders that the deceased who was nearing retirement from the Nigeria Immigration Service had invested in a palm plantation in his village, Ukambi.
“On hearing that farmlands in neighbouring Atiekpe and Ikwomikwu had been demolished and same was going to commence in Ukambi, he rushed home to confront the bulldozer that was encroaching into his palm plantation. He arrived last Wednesday morning and went straight to the farm in his uniform and met the bulldozer nearing his plantation. He faced the operator and tried to prevent him from encroaching into his land before other community members joined him in the farm. He participated fully in the day’s protest and the demolition and collapsed after then. He was rushed to a hospital in Obudu. The matter couldn’t be handled there and he was moved to UCTH in Calabar where he passed on this morning.” An elder in the community explained to CrossRiverWatch.
It was also gathered that, a second person, Mr. Andepibekong Atsua, has also collapsed and is critically sick in the hospital after his farm was demolished.
“One can conveniently say, the airport is among other things an exercise that will claim lives of the very electorates who voted for Ayade and he no longer listens to them or care about their welfare.” the source concluded.
Meanwhile, some stakeholders have also reacted to the development and have called for due process in the acquisition of the land and adequate compensation for affected land owners.