A non-governmental group, Abia Citizens Forum has commended Abia State governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu for removing the General Manager of Abia State Environmental Protection Agency, ASEPA, Okechukwu Apugo from office for incompetence.
The group also said that the sacking of the General Manager, Apugo did not come early given the fact that he abandoned his job and left the city of Umuahia to be littered with heaps of refuse.
In a statement issued in Umuahia which was signed by the Convener, Jerome Kalu, the group observed that the removed GM showed lack of capacity to do the job given to him by the government, despite received huge monthly allocations and generates revenue through levy of infrastructure fees.
Abia Citizens Forum stated that it became concerned about the state of Umuahia environment and the refuse mess in the city after it discovered that the former GM does not even reside in Umuahia, but lives in Uyo, Akwa Ibom from where he comes to collect the monthly allocation once it is ready and returns back to Uyo to continue with his private business.
The group said its investigations revealed that the former GM of ASEPA is building a football academy in Uyo, and also acquired properties, adding that he rarely comes to the office in Umuahia.
NewsCritic reports that few months back, there was a call for his removal after the Chairman of House committee on Environment, Hon Kelechi Onuzurike raised a motion on the floor of the House over the refuse mess in Umuahia.
Despite raising concerns the GM did not do anything to address the sanitation situation, instead it got worse under his leadership, after he blamed it on lack of funds which turned out not to be the truth. Abia Citizens Forum called on Ikpeazu remove any head of parastatals that failed to deliver, and not to continue to keep them in the name of politics of appeasement, while the state continues to deteriorate.
Ikpeazu, has on Saturday September 28, directed the immediate sack of the General Manager of Abia State Environmental Sanitation Agency (ASEPA), Mr Okechukwu Apugo, over poor sanitation situation in Umuahia.
According to a release signed by the State Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, the Governor gave the directive while on project tour in the state after passing through Ochendo by pass road and saw heaps of refuse along the road.
Governor Ikpeazu directed the Secretary to State Government, Barr Chris Ezem, to take over sanitation in Umuahia with Dr Aham Uko assisting him.
Meanwhile Dr Uko has swung into action and he has started clearing the heaps of refuse in Umuahia and its environs today Sunday, according to our findings.