By Philip Mbakuuv Ankyhquwa
It was a dream come true yesterday as Benue people and most especially Daudu residents played host to their august visitors, the project manager of Benue Cargo Airport which is to be sited in Daudu. Residents of Daudu and its environs defiled the heavy rain on Friday to assemble at Tse- Aboho to welcome a high power government delegation and officials of AIROTROPOLIS to their community.
The business of the day was very simple. It was development and not politics, so the leader of the government delegation Hon. Terwase Orbunde didn't waste time to introduce the topic of the day.
He told the anxious looking gathering that, he has come to introduce the officials of Airotropolis to the host community. The Chief of Staff to the government of Benue State, Hon. Terwase Orbunde informed the community that, the contract for the construction of the first CARGO AIRPORT in Africa has been signed between Benue state government and Airotropolis.
He said the government was happy that this has come to fruition and enjoined the host community to cooperate with Airotropolis and government to construct the airport. He assured the host community of fair play in negotiations of compensations and job placements at the Airport. Hon. Orbunde admonished Isherev community to be good ambassadors of the state by protecting the massive investment coming their way.
Also speaking from the government delegation, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice,Barr. Michael Gusa urged the community to show land demarcations without sentiments to avoid crises always associated with such exercises.
On his part, the Commissioner for Works and Housing, Egr. Emmanuel Manger urged the people to be law abiding believing that the Airport is a blessing to the community and Benue.
Adding, the Special Adviser to the governor on Bureau for Lands and Survey, Prof. Jonathan Uever begged residents not to sale out their land now. He urged them to wait for the Bureau to survey the land assuring them of added value if the land is properly surveyed.
Then, the moment came. The Chief of Staff,Hon. Terwase Orbunde accompanied by Michael Gusa, Prof. Uever, Egr. Manger,Perm. Sec, Mr. Makodi, Dr. Boniface Ortese, Hon. Hule Azem and Very Rev. Fr. Adolphus kuleke jointly handed over the project manager Dr. Basil to the Acting Ter Guma, Chief Gborigyo.
Speaking amidst tears of joy, the Acting Ter Guma was grateful to Governor Samuel Ortom for finding them worthy a midst many odds for the Airport. The Chief said with the magnanimous sitting of the airport, opposition politics in Isherev land has been permanently buried. He said no one could have remembered Isherev bigger than what Samuel Ortom has done. He promised to protect the facility and urged government to maintain a level playing ground between Airotropolis contractors and the host community.
Unraveling the new Benue bride, the project manager Dr. Basil admitted that Benue won the race for the location of the Cargo Airport because of the hard work and efforts of Governor Samuel Ortom. He said the Cargo Airport will make Benue a destination hub for heavy duty machines and agricultural products in Africa. Adding that, the Airport will be accompanied with an Aviation School that will be able to graduate fifty students each from the 23 local governments of the state.
Dr. Basil promised the host community a modern and standard primary and secondary school in the area. He added that portable water and power will also be made available to the people. He informed the people that the Airport will attract agricultural packaging and processing companies resulting to massive job creation for the youth. Dr. Basil also assured the people of affordable housing scheme around the Airport.
He promised a befitting hospital and a new city with every characteristics of a mega city with a new airport road from Hinyam to Makurdi. Dr. Basil said when completed issues of wastages of agricultural produce in Benue state and its environs will finish and that Airotropolis will finance Benue farmers to produce crops in commercial quantity.
He said the company will acquire land and finance 23 farmers to cultivate 23 thousand hectares of specialized crops for export. Dr. Basil sued for the cooperation of Benue people to enable Airotropolis deliver the job on time.
Given closing remarks, Very Rev. Fr. Adolphus Kuluke begged God to keep him a life to see the completion of the project. Fr. Kuluke urged the people to embrace the project and consider it their own as he pleaded for close monitoring to ensure that agreement are kept by all parties.
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