Communities which own the land on which Ajaokuta Steel Company is built say the firm cannot take off unless their “angry” ancestors are appeased.
The community leaders of Geregu and Ajaokuta, the host communities in Kogi state, said this during an interview with NAN.
Idris Aliyu, chairman, Geregu Community Association, attributed the non-completion of the steel plant to “mystical forces arising from the neglect of the communities”.
Aliyu said the ancestors were not happy over the alleged neglect of the communities by the federal government and the operators of the plant.
“It is not the communities that are preventing the work from being completed, it is the ancestors,” he said.
“There is a lady that had a dream two years ago and said she saw one of our ancestors, Egbunu Akoko, who told her that if the government wants Ajaoukta steel to be completed, they should go and resettle his people in Geregu and Ajaokuta.
“My advice is that, let them come back and fulfill most of the promises they made, they should fix our roads and repair the schools. Also, Egbunu Akoko’s house, which they demolished, should be rebuilt.
“Really, our ancestors are not happy over what is happening. The agreement we reached with ASCO when they acquired our lands since 1976 has not been implemented. All the promises they made they did not fulfill.
“We have been neglected but we are praying that work should continue in the company, maybe they will look into the promises they made to these two communities.”
The community leaders also said the government and administrators of the steel plant reneged on the initial “agreement” of providing employment and development in the communities.
However, Babajide Suru, general manager, engineering works and services department of the company, described the position of the communities as superstitious.
Sumaila Abdul-Akaba, sole administrator of the plant, said the issue of compensation and resettlement of the people would be addressed when the firm becomes fully functional.