Anthonia Omanya, the spokesperson of the family, who made the call at a news conference on Monday in Lokoja, said the family was being vilified for complaining over installation of electricity transformer and running of high tension cables through the family’s compound.
She said that in October, an Abuja-based company, Jumart Joe Nigeria Ltd, contracted by Millennium Development Goals unit of the Federal Ministry of Works to execute rural electrification project in Awo Akpali community sited the equipment in the compound.
Miss Omanya explained that attempts by her family to get the contractor to relocate the equipment, which was earlier rejected by two other families, drew the ire of the community head and some leaders.
She alleged that a youth group from the community attacked the family members, branding them “enemies of progress” and threw stones at them; forcing them to seek refuge at the Divisional Police headquarters at Okaba where they also reported the matter.
The Divisional Police Officer of the station, according to her, advised the community head to resolve the matter amicably and get the company to relocate the equipment.
Miss Omanya said the advice was not heeded, alleging that “voices within the community who sympathised with our predicament and believed in our cause have been intimidated and barred from expressing their opinions publicly by the village head.
“Since then, no one was allowed to communicate with us, no one was allowed to buy from us or sell to us and this prompted us to lodge complaint at the Public Complaints Commission in Lokoja on Nov. 12, 2012.”
She said the commission undertook an on-the-spot verification of the complaint, met with the community leaders, and advised that the facilities should be relocated elsewhere.
Miss Omanya said it also advised the community to lift the sanctions.
“The equipment is still there and all efforts to reconcile us have proved abortive as they have even stiffened the sanctions and finally barred us from fetching water from the only river in the area,’’ she said.
“My family is suffering this fate because my father has no son and we are less privileged in the community.’’
She appealed to the government to assist in resolving the problem.
Efforts made by the News Agency of Nigeria in Lokoja to get reactions from the village head and the police in the area proved abortive.