GOVERANCE

Gunu Communities Outraged Over Zungeru Dam Project

Resident communities at the location of the Zungeru dam project in Niger state were outraged over the failure of the Federal Government’s (FG) to compensate them for the large areas of land allocated for the dam project in addition to the FG’s approved name for the project.

While the dam project was named after Zungeru town in Wushiwushi Local Government Area (LGA), the project site was located at Gunu Village in Shiroro LGA.

The spokesman for the affected communities, Comrade Bello Ibrahim, complained of several challenges resulting from the Zugungeru project.

He alleged that landowners were not compensated and their lands were also undervalued.

“To this extent, the people have lost virtually all their belongings, including farmlands, houses, among other valuables. Our people are without houses, with only a few succeeding in managing to erect makeshift huts where they are currently taking refuge.

“In respect of compensation, a monumental scam took centre stage by way of grossly shortchanging virtually all the people directly affected by the dam construction.” Comrade Ibrahim said.

“It is on record that while some people’s property, including land and houses, were grossly undervalued, which resulted in inadequate compensation, some people were not compensated at all.

“In the face of this injustice done to our helpless people, we have also lost all the attorneys who were primarily engaged right from the onset to make a case for the affected people,” he added.

On the issue of the naming of the project, Comrade Ibrahim said, “naming the power station after the village it is sited will correct the historical anomaly, set the record straight, give honour to whom honour is due as well accord any future benefits that may accrue from time to time to the host community.”

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Comrade Ibrahim urged the FG to resolve infrastructure issues, including roads, hospitals, the connection of various communities in the area to electricity to have a sense of belonging in the society.

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