The Abia governor Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has removed the General Manager of Abia State Environmental Protection Agency, ASEPA, Chief Eze Okwulehie from office.
His removal was contained in a statement signed by the Secretary to the state government, SSG, Barr Chris Ezem.
He said the Governor of Abia State, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu has approved the immediate removal from office of Mr. Eze Okwulehie, General Manager, Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA), Umuahia”.
To this end, the Governor directs the Secretary to Abia State Government, Barr. Chris Ezem to oversee the activities of the Agency in the interim”. The directive according to him takes immediate effect.
NewsCritic reports that Eze Okwulehie was removed on a day he featured on a Love FM programme’Open Parliament to highlight the activities of his agency especially after the disturbing resurfacing of refuse heaps all over the streets of Umuahia and Aba.
The ASEPA GM featured alongside Mr Chika Nwabueze, a public Affairs analyst and Prince Elendalachi Ikengwu, a staff of NOA.
The GM appeared few days after Hon Kelechi Onuzuruike member representing Umuahia North state Constituency in the state Assembly bemoaned the state of Abia environment at plenary, as refuse heaps take over major corners of Umuahia and Aba.
He called on the House of Assembly to intervene and summon the ASEPA GM for explanations on this ugly trends.
However, when asked by the presenter Mrs Vivian Chima what he has to say concerning the menace of refuse heaps that littered the city, Eze Okwulehie, said the agency under his leadership is doing its best to evacuate the refuse, except that non release of funds approved for the agency by the accountant general, Mr Imeoria Kelechi, is frustrating his efforts.
He said the agency lacks equipments to combat refuse, adding that it has to hire trucks at exorbitant rates to do its job despite the failure of the accountant general to release funds approved by the governor for the agency, almost five months after.
I will not use my hand to pack dirt”, he told the presenter, asked why he has not pursued the release of the funds to a logical conclusion, he said that the accountant general doesn’t come to office which has made it difficult to see him.
The GM appeared frustrated with the system and decided to call a spade by its real name, since the general believe was that he has failed to do his job, in spite of huge allocations to the agency.
Even when many followers of the programme had thought that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu would call the accountant general to order, the reverse is now the case as the governor wielded the big stick against the GM, ostensibly for letting the cat out of the bag.
Many agencies and government parastatals have one or two complaint to give against the accountant general who is now seen as untouchable because of the Ngwa solidarity.
Investigations revealed that he is in the habit of refusing to pay workers or deliberately cause delay in their payment even when the funds are available. He is said to be done of depositing salaries and allocations in the bank for a period instead of releasing it for immediate payments.