…APGA seeks clarification on N27 World Bank Fund
The waste littering some streets of Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State is currently generating huge rancour between the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the State Government under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Also part of the ongoing verbal war between APGA and the state government are the conditions of notable roads in Aba South Local Government Area especially Port Harcourt Road, Obohia Road and Omuma Road.
On the 14th of July, 2021 during a plenary at the Abia State House of Assembly, an APGA member, Obinna Ichita, the member representing Aba South State Constituency raised a motion over the sanitary condition of some parts of Aba urging the House to mandate the Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA) to evacuate the heaps of refuse in two locations at Port Harcourt road Ichita said his argument was premised on the fact that his constituency risks an outbreak of an epidemic if the refuse in those locations were not carted away; stressing that was unacceptable for his constituents to pay the ASEPA levy and still be left with a dirty environment. He also raised an urgent matter on the deplorable states of major roads in Aba South which include, Port Harcourt Road,
Omuma Road and Obohia road. New Telegraph gathered that Ichita’s motion made the state House of Assembly pass a resolution mandating the Abia State Government to ensure that the contractors handling the aforementioned roads in Aba South constituency return to the sites with immediate effect.
The Assembly, it was gathered, also mandated ASEPA to evacuate the mounting heaps of refuse on Port Harcourt Road/ Asa Road and Port Harcourt/Crystal Park. The motion which was given wide broadcast by radio stations brought a lot of reaction from the state government and resulted to both the state Commissioner for Information,
Chief John Okiyi-Kalu and the Commissioner for Works, Mr. Bob Ogu, speaking separately on the matter. Ogu in a radio programme monitored in Aba said contacting authorities in charge of whatever the house member was complaining about is far better than going public on the matter.
Likewise, Ikpeazu said the House of Assembly Lawmakers condemning the efforts of his administration is doing so because of 2023. He urged any House Member complaining about bad roads in his constituency to try and put up a motion that will enable those roads to be covered by the budget for speedy construction.
In a similar move, Abia Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi-Kalu, compared Ichita’s motion on Port Harcourt road to a proverbial tortoise on a pit toilet.
Okiyi-Kalu said: “Have you heard a story of Mr. tortoise who fell into a pit toilet for seven years and the day they came to rescue Mr Tortoise from the pit toilet, he started shouting aloud that the smell of excreta is killing him that he should be rescued quickly.
“See, I want to say that Hon. Ichita is right to have asked for more for his people even though I noticed he did acknowledge the other works are done in Aba South. Outside Osisioma, we have done more projects in Aba South than any other LGA. “Eziukwu road is in Aba South, Milverton Avenue is in Aba South, part of Osusu road is in Aba South, and the Omuma road that we’re reconstructing is in Aba South.
“Now, Ichita represents Aba South, the mistake he made in his presentation was to say he cannot access his community. We don’t construct roads because it leads to an Honourable Member’s village. “We construct roads because they’re socio-economically important and Port Harcourt road is very important to us as a government and that’s why we went there in 2018.
“We are spending more money in Ichita’s constituency than anywhere in Abia. It’s in that same constituency that we’ve deployed N27.4 billion to solve the Ndiegoro flood disaster and he didn’t show gratitude on that.”
Okiyi-Kalu said that Ichita alluded to having access to the Governor and also alluded to having access to the Commissioner for Works, Bob Ogu and queried why the Aba South House of Assembly lawmaker did not make private consultation on the matter before going public.
“Did he sit down to ask Bob Ogu whom he said is his Elder brother why the project is being delayed?” Okiyi-Kalu asked. The commissioner said if there’s an ongoing project, two things can stop it.
One is funding and another one may probably be weather-related. “If Ichita had met Bob Ogu whom he said is his Elder Brother, he would have told him the things on the ground rather than going public. He came on air to carpet his Elder brother without meeting him privately.
“How do you solve problems? Many legislators engage quietly and get problems solved without going public about it. You need information even when you want to move motions before the house. “I don’t have any problem with him presenting issues in the House, I’m only saying that before you go public go private so that you’ll be armed with information.
“Everyone can run to the radio station, run to the house of assembly to adumbrate on anything. My problem is that you have a problem you want to solve in your constituency, beyond the easier part of standing up before the house; there is also the heavy lifting of making contacts directly.
“A lot of things are gotten right through personal contacts and understanding. If we all go on air to discuss everything without first going inside to seek information, always we will have rancour and we don’t want rancour we want a solution.” He said the state government will go back and complete Port Harcourt road, but what they must do is to properly channel water, stressing that if they fail to do that, Port Harcourt road will fail.
He added: “If we establish the underground drain along Ngwa road first, and connect the gutter along Port Harcourt road to the underground drain, you’ll have a Port Harcourt road that will work for Ichita and the members of that constituency.
“We’ll not do it because it’s leading to Ichita’s village. We’ll do it because it’s our main fabrication hub. It wasn’t Ichita that sent us to Port Harcourt road in the first place. We were already there before he became a House member.”
On the complaint about the state of Uratta road, Okiyi-Kalu asked Ichita to go to the Federal Government and lay his complaints, stressing that there is a subsisting Federal project on Uratta road. He said: “He’s talking about Uratta road, there’s a subsisting Federal Contractor there. He should go to Abuja to start crying there for them to come and complete that project because it was attracted by a member of his party. “I recognise the need for legislators like Ichita to adumbrate, make issues and make points to favour their constituency, but I’m saying we’ve spent more money in Aba South more than anywhere including the Governor’s LGA.” Reacting to all the comments from the government, the Abia State Chapter of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) called on Ikpeazu to as a matter of urgency, act fast and save Aba, from total decay under his watch. APGA said the call became necessary as the sanitary condition of Aba, the commercial hub of the state as well as the deplorable states of major roads in the city is becoming too dangerous for residents and frustrating people’s efforts to survive.
The party, however, said it finds it disturbing that two important motions moved by Obinna Ichita, member representing Aba South State Constituency on the sanitary condition of some locations in Aba South and deplorable roads within the constituency are being politicised by the state government.
APGA berated Abia State Government for what it tagged a move to emasculate and stifle the voice of opposition in the state even when the matters raised are of urgent importance and life-threatening.