A visit to Umuahia the capital of Abia state brings you to the undisputable realism of the look, a failed state wears.
|Abia’s failed leadership and a people in danger|
It has therefore become unpretentiously worrisome to those who reside in Umuahia, a city with a long standing reputation for cleanliness, quietness, serenity, orderliness and discipline, that the city is now a threat to the health of the residents due to the degraded environmental status of the town.
In as much as the state government has shown culpable indifference to the welfare of the citizenry across the state, events has proved that Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu PhD lacks the leadership skills required to lead the present day Abia.
With neighboring states like Ebonyi, Enugu and Anambra having espoused modern ways of waste management and even going ahead to embrace the global standards of turning waste to wealth.
In this 21st century the Abia state government under the supervision of a PhD holder, an academician and a former environmental sanitation chieftain in the person of Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu PhD, is still in the practice of torching of refuse right inside the old waste bucket at the middle of the road very close to residential buildings, hospitals, motor parks, schools, markets, churches, offices etc.
Re-echoing the would-be health implication of this mundane,inhuman and wicked practice on the residents will amount to announcing that Sunday is a church day, needless to say that the ministry of environment, Abia state, is a Dead duck and the Abia State environmental Protection authority (ASEPA) is a failed agency, just like every other institution in Abia state since Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu assumed office as the executive governor of Abia state.
One wonders why ASEPA has abandoned its duty post and the people now resort to setting the waste receptacles ablaze when the refuse bin is filled and splattering all over the road and in our neighborhood, a senior ASEPA staff told me that the Agency has not received its monthly allocation from the state government for the past 5 months.
He also said that Ecological Funds is what the agency relies on majorly for its operations, and that the funds which amounts to billions of naira comes quarterly from United Nations through the ministry of finance and flows directly to the state governments accounts, he lamented the Governor`s refusal to release the funds for the ministry of Environment and ASEPA to use in the maintenance and protection of the environment, He expressed regrets that governor Ikpeazu having served as ASEPA Deputy G.M before becoming Governor prefers to use the money for the cleanliness of Umuahia and Aba for other selfish purposes other than what it was originally meant for and this has resulted in the degradation and dirt that is threatening the health of all that is domiciled in Abia today.
Also a staff of the ministry of environment revealed that the major cause of the problems being faced in the state today is the Governors inability to release funds for the payment of workers of the ministry of environment and ASEPA, their salaries had accrued to 5 months in arrears and counting despite directing and receiving all taxes and charges due to ASEPA and other environmental taxes through the Board of Internal Revenue (BIR) and straight into the state’s IGR account., he decried that it is impossible for ASEPA to function without funds and that all appeals from all the stake holders in the industry to make the governor release money to ASEPA for the cleaning of Umuahia the state capital in preparation of the Xmas season was not heeded to by the governor and today the result is the catastrophe we are facing and he is not sharing any optimism that the heaps of refuse will disappear in the nearest future as Dr. Ikpeazu has not shown any commitment towards environmental hygiene ever since he assumed office as the Governor of Abia State.
That our environment and health of the children, women and the entire Abia residents has been exposed to the greatest danger of all times is an understatement, and to think that the man incharge of the environmental decay and rot in Abia is no other than the one who should have been the champion of a clean Abia, is another unanticipated disappointment, that greed and mindless acquisition of wealth is the cause of the dirt that has taken over the streets and threatening epidemic outbreak is a quiz yet to be unraveled by the best of professors in our state, that Abia is today competing and cruising seriously into the position of the dirtiest state in the world is an undisputable fact, and that Okezie Ikpeazu is a misfit in governance is to say the mind of an average Abian.
But God who is in heaven and seeing the plight of his children will never let the cry of his children go unrewarded, he will never allow the health of Abians to be swallowed up just because Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu PhD chose to become the Pharaoh that will not allow the children of Israel to get to the Promised Land.
Abians are asking God to give us that man who will cleanse the tears in our eyes and cause every Abian irrespective of Age, Sex or Clan to Rejoice.
Uchechukwu ga emeriri n`Abia
Aguoru, Writes from Umuahia
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