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Some indigenes of Akwa Ibom, under the umbrella of Akwa Ibom Conscience, on Thursday staged a peaceful protest against a plan by their state government to build new Governor’s Lodge in Lagos state.
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The leader of the group, Mr Inibehe Effiong, a human rights activist, who led the protesters at the Akwa Ibom State Liaison Office in Victoria Island, Lagos, said there was no justifiable reason for the new lodge.
Effiong alleged that the government was planning to spend huge funds on the project, arguing that such money could be used to settle the salaries of workers and pensioners.
He noted that the state’s old liaison office in Lagos was still good enough for government activities, wondering why the state government under the leadership of Gov. Udom Emmanuel was embarking on such project with the economic recession.
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Some other indigenes under the aegis of “Akwa Ibom Youths in Lagos“ however interrupted the protest, backing their state government. The timely arrival of a police team from Victoria Island division brought the situation under control.
A special Assistant to the Governor on Youth matters, Mr Imeh Iwah, who came to the liaison office for a meeting with the youths, said the government had only budgeted N1.2 billion for project.
Iwah said that the building, if completed, would create about 1,000 jobs for the Akwa Ibom people and accommodate more events for the state government.
He said that the state government was planning more empowerment programmes for the Akwa Ibom indigenes in Lagos. According to him, the data of the indigenes is being collected to ensure all youths were covered.
The Akwa Ibom Youths President, Chief Elijah Ifot said they were in support of the new lodge.
“I am one of those who suggested the building of a new governor’s lodge in Lagos about six years ago as the old one can no longer accommodate our people.
“If the governor comes to Lagos to address Akwa Ibom people, the old building inherited from Cross Rivers can only accommodate less than 500.
“If the building is completed, many of our people will work there; it will attract investment to our state. We want the government to complete the project in good time,“ he said.
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